NFL fines Lions rookie Suh $15K for penalized hit on Cutler

The NFL fined Detroit Lions defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh $15,000 for a Sunday hit on Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler that drew an unnecessary-roughness penalty, although a closer examination of the videotape suggests the wrong call was made, NFL Competition Committee co-chairman Rich McKay acknowledged.

Suh, who said Wednesday that he plans to appeal the fine, was penalized during the fourth quarter of the Lions' 24-20 loss to the Bears when he sent Cutler to the ground with a hard, two-handed shove to the upper back after the quarterback ran for 8 yards. Referee Ed Hochuli called the play "an unnecessary non-football act," ruling that Suh delivered an illegal forearm.

Lions coach Jim Schwartz disagreed with the call and said Wednesday he couldn't think of anything his rookie lineman should have done differently when knocking down Cutler.

"I don't know what to tell him right there," Schwartz said. "The quarterback wasn't going down. He was a runner. He was trying to score a touchdown."

McKay, appearing Wednesday on "NFL Total Access" on NFL Network, agreed with Schwartz without explicitly saying the call was wrong.

"At full speed," said McKay, also the Atlanta Falcons' president, "you can see where (Hochuli) saw at least what he saw. ... The hard thing about this one is the defensive player in playing the game at full speed, trying to make a play, and then that ends up with that result. ...

"Player safety is always going to be at the forefront (for) these officials. I'm not one that's going to sit here and say right call or wrong call -- that's probably not appropriate for me to say. I'm sitting here saying that there are rules that come real close to what happened in this instance. And what Ed Hochuli saw and what he called ... he thought he saw it, and he called it that way. I know Detroit can't be very happy with the call."

Suh didn't confirm the amount of the fine, but a person with knowledge of the fine, speaking to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the league hadn't announced it yet, confirmed it was $15,000.

Suh was fined $7,500 for a face-mask takedown of Cleveland Browns quarterback Jake Delhomme during preseason.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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