ESPN’s Chris Mortensen is reporting that Lions DT Ndamukong Suh will be suspended for two games (or possibly more), and referred to anger management classes for stomping a Packers offensive lineman during their Thanksgiving Day loss.
Many speculated that Suh could face a suspension for his actions based on the precedent set when Albert Haynesworth (then of the Titans) was suspended five games for stomping on the face of a helmet-less Andre Gurode of the Cowboys in 2006. Despite that, a two game suspension would be a departure from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s past pattern of discipline, which has only involved multiple games once during his tenure.
Suh has been fined three times by the NFL for various infractions, but this would be his first suspension.
While Suh did not injure Evan Dietrich-Smith, many took exception with both his intent (which looked bad) and his lame attempt to spin his actions after the game. If he is indeed suspended, it will be interesting to see whether the NFL will mention his ridiculous plea of innocence as a factor in their decision. And indeed, the referral of Suh to anger management classes could be the league’s way of addressing Suh’s postgame break from reality.
One other important factor in this is that a suspension would serve as an icebreaker of sorts for Suh – meaning that future transgressions could result in even more severe penalties. Only in his second season, Suh would now face a career played on thin ice discipline-wise. Should he ever repeat or escalate his dirty play, Suh could be looking at missing serious chunks of a season – something both Suh’s reputation and the Lions can ill afford.