Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh had his one-game suspension overturned by appeals officer Ted Cottrell on Tuesday, a day after the NFL suspended Suh for Sunday’s playoff game between the Lions and Dallas Cowboys.
Instead, Cottrell ruled Suh will have to pay a $70,000 fine.
Suh was suspended by the league for stepping on the calf and ankle of Green Bay Packers quarterback 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.”
While Rodgers did not say explicitly that he thought Suh’s actions were intentional, he did have serious doubts as to how they could be viewed as 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,” Rodgers said Tuesday, “the first reaction seems to be looking back and maybe apologizing with your hands or maybe pulling your foot back right away, and I’m just not sure that’s what happened on Sunday.”
Lions players came to Suh’s defense Monday after learning about his suspension, saying he was a changed player and that he had not caused any trouble this season and played within the rules.
“He was getting pushed back, you know,” Lions center Dominic Raiola said. “… There’s no way at that point in the game that he did something like that on purpose.”
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