Ndamukong Suh is starting to understand the gravity of his situation.
The Detroit Lions defensive tackle was fined $30,000 by the NFL for his kick to Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub's groin during the Thanksgiving Day game. Suh realizes his reputation will affect how the league deals with him in the future.
Houston Texans vs. Detroit LionsTake a look at photos from the Thanksgiving Day matchup between the Texans and Lions.
"I think I'm always going to be punished in some form or fashion for last Thanksgiving," Suh told the Detroit Free Press. "I mean, I've apologized for it, and I'm going to continue to apologize for it. It's something that happened, a mistake that I made.
"I'm living up to it and continuing to move past it. Some people may not, some people will and some people will teeter-totter back and forth between it, depending on whatever the situation is or whatever may happen as we had this last incident on Thanksgiving."
Suh was suspended two games in 2011 after he stomped on Green Bay Packers guard Evan Dietrich-Smith after a play. NFL executive vice president of football operations Ray Anderson said before this week's ruling that past offenders do not receive the benefit of the doubt. That's life for Suh moving forward. Any borderline incident will be considered malicious. The Thanksgiving Day stomp was one of several on-field and off-field issues that have formed this rep.
Schaub said he wouldn't want Suh on his team.
"That's his opinion," Suh said. "I don't know. I guess the person that would make that decision would be the GM or the head coach of that team. I'm happy exactly where I'm at, so I don't even think they have an opportunity to have me as a Texan."
There are strong opinions on both sides when Suh is the topic. Some believe the kick absolutely was intentional. Others says that's impossible to determine. But the fine is telling.
The lack of a suspension shows there wasn't conclusive evidence to call the kick intentional. But if it can't be determined if the kick was on purpose, why the fine?
That's life for Suh now. Even where there is a lack of absolute evidence, his reputation can (and will) garner a penalty.
Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.