The NFL has determined that the Detroit Lions' Ndamukong Suh acted deliberately to try and hurt the Green Bay Packers' quarterback during the last game of the season.
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday that the NFL has slapped the Lions defensive tackle with a one-game suspension for stepping on the leg of Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The ban eliminates Suh from Sunday's NFC playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys.
After Suh knocked Rodgers over in the fourth quarter, replays showed the behemoth taking two steps backward, with both landing on the injured area between the star passer's ankle and calf.
Suh is most effective player on the Lions' defense. His absence from the field makes their stout defense noticeably less capable.
Per @mortreport, Ndamukong Suh is suspended for Sunday's game vs DAL. Here's what Lions defense has done without Suh. pic.twitter.com/BWHFXjoNh4— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 29, 2014
The suspension is pending appeal. With the playoffs, this will be expedited.
Suh's appeal will be tomorrow, so either way we'll know definitively if he plays before teams even begin practicing.— David Helman (@HelmanDC) December 29, 2014
Suh's reputation as probably the dirtiest player in the NFL will certainly work against him in the appeal. Should he lose the appeal, this will be a boost for the Cowboys, particularly the running game which the team has leaned on so much this year.
Suh is not the only starter that Detroit may be missing. The other starting defensive tackle, Nick Fairley, has a knee injury and may not be able to go. The same applies to offensive guard Larry Warford. Both those injuries are very harmful for the Lions, but to be missing both starting defensive tackles would be huge against the Cowboys' powerful offensive line. If this goes the most likely way for Suh, the chances of Dallas advancing to play at the Green Bay Packers just got a good bit better.