Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndumakong Suh takes umbrage when the media refers to him as a dirty football player despite the fact he’s had numerous personal fouls and fines in his brief NFL career. After Thursday, his already weak case became significantly weaker.
In the third quarter of the Lions Thanksgiving Day game with Green Bay, Ndamukong Suh was locked up with Packers guard Evan Dietrich-Smith. Suh barbarically shoved the Packers guard’s head into the ground repeatedly, then stomped on his arm as he was walking away.
“I was on top of a guy being pulled down and trying to get up off the ground, which is why you see me pushing his helmet down,” Suh explained. “As I’m getting up, I’m getting pushed so I’m getting myself unbalanced.”
That’s enough spin to make fighter pilot nauseous.
Suh added, “I understand in this world because of the type of player and type of person I am, all eyes are on me. So why would I do something to jeopardize myself, jeopardize my team, first and foremost? I don’t do bad things. I have no intentions to hurt someone. If I want to hurt him, I’m going to hit his quarterback as I did throughout that game.”
Clearly Nkamukong Suh is the victim here. The NFL world is seemingly against him as he simply plays the right way and opponents helmets are magically twisted off almost every week. In this case, it seems like a simple explanation that Suh may have had some sort of arm spasm that continuously forced Evan Dietrich-Smith’s head into the turf and then was trying to walk away harmlessly when his giant size 16 shoes accidentally landed on Smith’s arm.
The Packers, like any reasonable members of society aren’t buying Suh’s explanation and they don’t see him as the martyr he would like you to believe he is.
“That’s [expletive],” Packers guard T.J. Lang said via Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. “He clearly had Evan [Dietrich-Smith] by the face mask pinned to the ground. His explanation is crap.”
Packers second-year tight end Andrew Quarless, a Penn State grad took exception to the “horseplay”.
“He was lucky I wasn’t on the field,” Quarless told Dunne. “Lucky. I’m a New York guy. I don’t go for that stuff. It was very unnecessary. I can understand you might get in a scuffle, but you never stomp on a guy. That’s like hitting a guy when he’s down. You don’t do things like that. I was this close to running on the field.”
Ndamukong Suh’s actions hurt his team on Thursday, and they will likely hurt the Lions for at least one or two more games as the former second-overall draft pick will undoubtedly face a major fine and suspension. Although Suh was likely getting held on the play as he does every week, his reaction was completely out of line and disrespected the game of football.
Despite making several Mid-season All-Pro teams, Suh’s level of play has dropped in his sophomore campaign and he’s taking his frustrations out in the wrong way. Perhaps Suh needs to be sat down for a few weeks to gain better perspective, even if it might cost the Lions a playoff berth.
Charlie Bernstein is the NFL Insider for ESPNFlorida.com and ESPN 1080 and 1040 in Orlando/Tampa and Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie covers the Jacksonville Jaguars for FoxSports and has been featured on the NFL Network and Sirius NFL Radio. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. You can follow Charlie on Twitter @nflcharlie