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Suh to appeal two-game penalty

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Dave Birkett
November 30, 2011
— Ndamukong Suh was defiant, angry even in the hours after he was ejected from the Lions’ Thanksgiving Day loss to the Packers.

Suh was kicked out of the game in the third quarter for stomping an opponent, and in a rambling postgame news conference insisted—even after seeing replays—that he never intended to step on offensive guard Evan Dietrich-Smith’s right arm.


Teammates and coaches said Suh was more remorseful the next five days, acknowledging he overreacted. But he never apologized to the entire team for his actions and some in the Lions locker room believe the two-game suspension handed down by the NFL on Tuesday was both appropriate and justified.


Suh is appealing the suspension, and the NFL said it will conduct an expedited hearing this week in time to render a final punishment before Sunday’s game at New Orleans.


“I have had a lot of conversations with him the last two days and I think he is in a different spot” than he was after the game, Lions coach Jim Schwartz said. “This is a very emotional game. There’s a lot of things that happen on the field and a lot of things that maybe look different to us when we see them on film than we remember them on the field. It happens to coaches, it happens to players. But after the emotions die down and things like that, maybe you see things in a different way.


“I think his No. 1 thing is he didn’t want to be a distraction for the team. He wanted the team to be able to focus on the Saints and then he wants to be accountable for his actions and get back on the field as quick as he can.”


Whether he wanted to be or not, Suh was a distraction for teammates Tuesday as they were left to answer questions about his fifth run-in with NFL discipline czars.


Suh had been fined four times previously before Tuesday’s suspension, which comes without pay and will cost him $165,647 in missed game checks.


“I’m not talking about Suh,” center Dominic Raiola said. “We can talk about the Saints, but I’m not talking about Suh.


“We have too much going on right now to talk about him.”


Raiola said he was “not commenting on that” when asked if players in the locker room were angry at Suh.


“You talk to him if you want a comment about his situation,” he said. “He knows what he did.”


Defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch defended Suh as “one of the most mature players I’ve ever been around” and said he didn’t view Suh’s stomp as a selfish act.



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