Ndamukong Suh will pay a steep price for his fancy footwork in Sunday's loss to the Green Bay Packers.
The NFL has suspended the Lions' defensive tackle for one game for stepping on the leg of Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the league announced Monday. Suh will not be available for Sunday's NFC wild card game against the Dallas Cowboys.
"You did not respond in the manner of someone who had lost his balance and accidentally contacted another player who was lying on the ground," NFL vice president of football operations Merton Hanks said in a letter to Suh. "This illegal contact, specifically the second step and push off with your left foot, clearly could have been avoided.
"You unnecessarily stepped on your opponent's unprotected leg as he lay on the ground unable to protect himself."
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reports that Suh will appeal the suspension, per a league source. The appeal will be heard and decided by either Derrick Brooks or Ted Cottrell. The video evidence of Suh's actions will be difficult for him to overcome.
After Suh knocked Rodgers over in the fourth quarter, replays showed Suh taking two steps backward, with both feet landing on the injured area between the star passer's ankle and calf.
"I didn't see it live, I didn't see it on the (scoreboard), but from what I'm told, I'm told it was ridiculous," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "There's no place for that. That's where I'm at with it. I don't understand it, frankly."
Suh's history likely played a role in the league's decision to ban the All-Pro defender.
Suh served a two-game suspension in 2011 after he stomped on the arm of then-Packers offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith. One year later, Suh was fined $30,000 by the NFL for kicking then-Texans quarterback Matt Schaub in the groin. Since 2010, the behemoth has been fined seven times for player-safety violations.
Suh's punishment couldn't come at a worse time for the Lions. As the beating heart of the team's nasty defensive front, he loomed as the central cog in Detroit's plan to slow down Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray and neutralize the NFC's finest offensive line.
This could be a fitting end to Suh's time in Detroit. Rapoport reported previously that the Lions are prepared to let Suh test free agency.
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