Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is no stranger to being fined by the NFL, with the latest being the $100,000 penalty the league hit him with on Tuesday for his low block on Minnesota Vikings center John Sullivan in Week 1. Suh could easily have been suspended for the hit, despite his denial he attempted to injure Sullivan and the Vikings’ lineman only suffering a bruised left knee as a result of the play.
The more interesting part of the announcement of Suh’s fine on Tuesday, leaving aside any belief he should have been suspended for one or more games, is the report from multiple sources that Suh plans to appeal the fine. The $100,000 fine is significant, yes, but for a player who is scheduled to make over $12 million between his salary and a signing bonus this season it seems less dramatic and Suh should feel fortunate to be able to suit up next Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals.
Suh has now been fined six times in his career for on-field infractions, including five times for illegal hits, which has unfortunately overshadowed how talented he is and led to a well-deserved label as a dirty player. He has been suspended by the league once before, for two games in 2011 after stomping on Green Bay Packers offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith on Thanksgiving Day. If a decision had been reached to suspend Suh for his low block on Sullivan, it’s worth wondering if his status as a repeat offender would have yielded a penalty of longer than two games.
I think Suh’s best course of action is to accept his fine, and count his lucky stars that he was not suspended this time around. If anything resembling Sunday’s illegal hit, which erased a defensive touchdown for Detroit, occurs over the rest of this season commissioner Roger Goodell will be well within his power to suspend Suh for multiple games.
Brad Berreman is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.