Following last Sunday’s regular season game between the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers, Lions’ defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh was suspended for one game, eliminating him from this Sunday’s wild-card playoff game scheduled against the Dallas Cowboys. Suh’s suspension was for illegal contact, as video clearly depicted him stepping on the leg of Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers while he was lying on the ground following a play in the game. Some Suh supporters cried foul, and steadfastly held the view that Suh stepping on Rodgers was simply an unfortunate accident.
According to ESPN, the NFL overturned Suh’s one game suspension on Dec. 30, which now makes the defensive tackle eligible to play in the upcoming playoff game against the Cowboys. Suh attended yesterday’s appeal hearing in person, answered questions, and told his side of the story directly to appeals officer Ted Cottrell in New York.
After it was all said and done, Cottrell and NFL league official Merton Hanks still determined that Suh did indeed commit “a violation of the player-safety policy in stepping on Rodgers,” but overturned Suh’s one game suspension and changed his penalty to a $70,000 fine. Suh immediately rejoined his Detroit teammates in getting ready for this Sunday’s matchup against the Cowboys. Following yesterday’s announcement that Suh’s suspension had been overturned, Rodgers, while not coming right out and saying that Suh was playing dirty when stepping on his leg, he did express his doubts that Suh’s stepping on him was simplly accidental:
“The only thing I can say is if you step on something in your everyday life or if you step on somebody on the field, the first reaction seems to be looking back and maybe apologizing with your hands or maybe pulling your foot back right away,” Rodgers said Tuesday “And I’m just not sure that’s what happened on Sunday.”
You can see video of Suh stepping on Rodgers here. Now that Suh is back in the fold, NFL.com feels that “the Detroit Lions will be armed with the three best defenders on the field for Sunday’s Wild Card round matchup at the Dallas Cowboys.” In addition to having Suh back on the roster, Lions’ linebacker DeAndre Levy and pass rusher Ziggy Ansah are also expected to spell trouble for the Cowboys.
Yesterday, when it looked as if the Lions would be minus Suh for the playoff game, the Odds Shark computer was giving a seven-point spread against the Lions and predicting a 30.9 – 23.8 Cowboys’ victory over Detroit. As of this writing, it’s almost even money. The wild-card playoff game between the Lions and the Cowboys takes place Sunday, Jan. 4 at 4:40 p.m. For more on Suh’s suspension being overturned, see the video accompanying this article.