One year ago, Ndamukong Suh was ejected, fined and suspended by the NFL after stomping on a player on Thanksgiving Day. This year, the Detroit Lions defensive tackle is once again the subject of a play involving his foot.
On a passing play by the Houston Texans, Suh rushed quarterback Matt Schaub and was flipped over by an offensive lineman. As Suh went down to the ground, his foot went up on Schaub and made contact with his groin. The first quarter play became the talk of the internet after the game and even became a hot topic during halftime Thursday.
As Suh rushed Schaub on the play, offensive lineman Derek Newon took Suh down to the turf inside of Ford Field. As Suh went down, his cleat made contact with Schaub, who appeared to briefly feel some pain. However, play resumed and Schaub’s pain went away. Schaub thought the shot to the groin was intentional, saying after the game, “I’ve got no comment on that play or that player.”
During halftime of the Lions annual Thanksgiving Day game, former quarterback Boomer Esiason got heated talking about Suh and the particular play. “This is supposed to be a brotherhood, you’re supposed to have respect for one another. Bruce Smith, I could always shake his hand,” Esiason said. The former quarterback then said, “I would never shake this guy’s hand because, once again, he has crossed over a line, and it’s obvious that it was on purpose.”
For the record, Esiason did always shake Smith’s hand after games. Smith, who is one of the greatest defensive players in the last two decades, gave Esiason a concussion on accident. Back in October of 1993, Smith claims to never have heard a whistle for a false start penalty and knocked a distracted Esiason to the ground. Esiason laid on the ground for several minutes before being taken off the field and missing several games. Esiason later said, “I do not hold Bruce Smith responsible for anything.”
Perhaps it’s time for Esiason to remember the game he took part in on October 8th, 1993. Smith made a hard hit on him as part of the intensity of the game of football. The play knocked Esiason out and caused him to miss a couple of games. During Thursday’s game, Suh accidentally hit Schaub in the groin and caused him to miss zero plays.
Last Thanksgiving, Suh got fed up with Green Bay Packers offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith and stomped on him. Suh was ejected after the play and was later suspended for two games. Suh’s stomp on national television further advanced a movement of Suh being the dirtiest player in the league.
Other takedowns on players like Jay Cutler, Andy Dalton and Jake Delhomme have resulted in fines for Suh. The Lions defensive tackle has also been the subject of double digit personal fouls since he entered the league in 2010.
Suh has been named the dirtiest player in the league two years in a row. The “award”, voted on by players, shows how little the league and players respect the Lions player. Suh’s shot on Dietrich-Smith last year was uncalled for, but Suh’s kick to the groin this Thanksgiving was an accident. It’s unfortunate that Suh will likely not be given the benefit of the doubt and will receive yet another fine.