Why did Ndamukong Suh get off with just a fine for trying to injure Aaron Rodgers by stepping on him? No one knows for sure, but the Detroit Lions and their player get away with cheating thanks to an incredible lie told to the appeals officer, who for some reason bought it.
While there is reason behind what Michael Bennett said regarding the whole preferential treatment offensive players get in the NFL and especially quarterbacks, it doesn’t apply in this case. Suh wasn’t caught up in some scuffle or trench battle between linemen. He wasn’t shoved or moved by someone. He stepped on Aaron Rodgers not once but twice, making sure the second step got all of his weight on it, before walking away, hoping he had done some damage.
And that’s the whole gist of the uproar regarding Suh “just” being fined. It’s not just Dallas Cowboys players that were hoping their team would have an easier time on the field without Suh playing. It’s about player safety, and having guys trying to injure other players not by hitting them hard, which is the whole purpose of playing defense, but because Suh did it with malice and an intent to injure whiel the ball was “dead”. This had nothing to do with football, and everything to do with violence.
But it turns out, the NFL is quite flippy when it comes to making certain decisions. On one hand it loves protecting the quarterbacks with soft unnecessary roughness calls when quarterbacks get breathed on during games, but when it has a chance to crack down on an ugly incident that had nothing to do with the game itself, it messes up. Matter of fact, it’s not that surprising to see the NFL make a completely wrong decision within the limits of their weird rules.
Suh told the appeals officer that his feet were numb from the cold so couldn’t tell the difference between Rodgers’ feet and the ground. I wonder if the final decision to let him off with a fine and not a suspension was made based on that tall tale, probably something even kids in kindergarten are old and wise enough to know is a ridiculous lie. The fact that he’s not a repeat offender because of the arbitrary 32-game rule, which states that it erases all your previous misdoings if you’re “clean” in that timeframe.
So the Lions get a bonus they didn’t expect. It seemed everyone but another troublesome player, Dominic Raiola, knew Suh was going to be suspended. Regardless of whether or not he’s gone this offseason or not, having a massive force at defensive tackle to try and stop the very efficient running game of the Cowboys, spearheaded by a massive offensive line blocking for DeMarco Murray is giving them a much better outlook for this playoff game.