Ndamukong Suh: Discount Double Step


Dec 14, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions defensive tackle

Ndamukong Suh

(90) before the game against the Minnesota Vikings at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Great news, NFL players!

Every 32 games you’re allowed to be a giant goon, regardless of past conduct.

Ndamukong Suh was originally suspended by the league for stepping on the calf and ankle of Aaron Rodgers during the Packers’ 30-20 win over the Lions on Sunday.

The league suspended him, saying Suh “unnecessarily stepped on the opponent’s unprotected leg as he lay on the ground unable to protect himself.”

I think most people were content with this.

Suh violated the rules and he was suspended one game  by the league.

While appealing his suspension, Suh explained his conduct to Ted Cottrell and answered questions directly.

Cottrell agreed with league officials that Suh committed a violation of the player safety policy in stepping on Rodgers but reduced the penalty.

Jim Oxley photograph

Suh told Cottrell that he couldn’t tell the difference between Rodgers’ feet and the ground because his feet were numb.

How the NFL “believed” this is beyond me.

The NFL would probably tell you that Suh did not win his appeal, being they just adjusted the penalty. But, let’s be real, anything less than a suspension is a win for Suh.

If the NFL was truly invested in player’s safety they wouldn’t allow such a precedent to rule.

A new formula removed Suh from the repeat offender list after Week 16. Suh’s last violation was in 2013, when he was fined $100,000 for an illegal chop block on Vikings center John Sullivan which was the biggest fine in NFL history for on-field conduct.

He had six other infractions since 2010, tallying 8 infractions in 4 years.

To me, and half of the population with a brain, Suh should be the textbook definition of a repeat offender, should be punished accordingly, and rules should be created with his behavior in mind.

In any other job, if you screw up 8 times in four years, you probably won’t be able to keep that job. If you commit 8 crimes, you are considered a habitual offender by the criminal justice system and chances are you will face some sort of retribution.

Not in the NFL.

According to NFL rules, a player who goes 32 games (including a maximum of two preseason games) without a violation is removed from the repeat offender list.

Suh also had some help from teammates who said he was a changed player and that he had not caused any trouble this season.


Ndamukong Suh. Raymond T. Rivard photograph

Great job, you followed the rules for one whole season.

Ironically, one player that came to his defense vocally was Lion’s center Dominic Raiola, who was himself suspended a game for his own stomp.

Suh knew the only way he could get away with a cheap shot was to do it subtly and that’s exactly what he did and it worked.

He knew the game was over. He knew Rodgers was already injured. He knew his season would soon be over so he did the only thing  Ndamukong Suh would do.

He stepped on Rodgers’ calf and ankle twice without looking down or back.

NFL proves once again that it has no idea what it is doing when it comes to disciplining its players.