The NFL has suspended Detroit Lions star defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh for Saturday’s wild-card playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys for stepping on the leg of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers on Sunday. Suh is appealing the suspension.
Suh was in “violation of safety-related playing rules” when he twice stepped on the leg of Rodgers in the fourth quarter of the Packers' 30-20 win. Cameras caught Rodgers shoving Suh after the 27-year-old stepped on Rodgers's calf with 5:48 remaining.
"He'll probably say it was (an) accident, he was getting blocked into him," Rodgers said. "That's what (referee) Walt Anderson said. We'll see."
"I didn't see it and I don't think it was intentional, either," Lions head coach Jim Caldwell said of the incident.
This is not the first time the four-time Pro Bowler has been reprimanded for play-safety violations. In 2011, Suh was suspended for two games for stomping on the arm of then-Packers offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith.
In 2012, Suh was named the NFL's "Least-Liked Player," likely because of the perception that he is a “dirty” player. In addition to his previous suspension, Suh has received seven fines for player-safety violations, according to the Detroit Free Press.
If Suh doesn’t win his appeal, the Lions will be missing a key part of a defense that ranks second in yards allowed and third in points allowed. Suh leads the team with 8.5 sacks and he ranks sixth on the Lions with 53 total tackles.
Detroit is set to face Tony Romo, who was sacked 30 times in the regular season. Suh recorded a half-sack in his only career playoff appearance.
Since being drafted in 2010, Suh has never missed a game, due to injuries. He is set to be a free agent in the summer and may have played his last game in a Lions uniform.
An IB Times staff reporter contributed to this report.