Ndamukong Suh's Suspension Overturned After Appeal, Will Play vs. Cowboys

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistDecember 30, 2014

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Ndamukong Suh's suspension for stepping on Aaron Rodgers in Week 17 has been overturned following an appeal. Suh was fined $70k for the incident and will be available for the team's playoff game against the Cowboys.

Continue for updates. 

Suh Claims Feet Were Numb During Incident

Wednesday, Dec. 31

Adam Schefter of ESPN provides details on Suh's appeal:

Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

During appeal, Ndamukong Suh said his feet were numb from cold and he couldn't tell difference between Aaron Rodgers' feet and the ground.

NFL VP Greg Aiello passes along more information on the league's decision:

Greg Aiello @gregaiello

.@hblodget No. Mr. Suh didn't win his appeal. Ted Cottrell did not accept the excuse. He decided the apropriate discipline was a $70K fine.

Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press provides comments from Suh:

Dave Birkett @davebirkett

Suh: I'm just pleased with the decision and glad I have the opportunity to play vs. Dallas

Suh No Longer Suspended for Playoff Game vs. Cowboys

Tuesday, Dec. 30

On Monday, it looked as if Ndamukong Suh may had played his last game in a Detroit Lions uniform. By Tuesday afternoon, he was gearing up for the Lions' Wild Card Round matchup against the Dallas Cowboys

Independent arbitrator Ted Cottrell overruled Suh's one-game suspension for stomping on Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, instead issuing a $70,000 fine.   

"Ted Cottrell, the hearing officer in the appeal of Ndamukong Suh of the Detroit Lions of his one-game suspension, has reduced the discipline to a $70,000 fine," the league said in a statement. "Cottrell is jointly appointed and compensated by the NFL and NFL Players Association to hear and decide appeals for on-field player discipline."

According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the ruling doesn't come as a major surprise to the NFL: 

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NFL knew there was a good chance Suh would win his appeal, but nevertheless wanted to send a strong message about unnecessary contact.

The NFL suspended Suh, 27, on Monday, one day after he stepped on the MVP candidate's injured calf and ankle in Sunday's 30-20 loss in Green Bay. While opinions differed on whether the incident was malicious, NFL vice president of football operations Merton Hanks made it clear where the league stood. 

"You did not respond in the manner of someone who had lost his balance and accidentally contacted another player who was lying on the ground," Hanks said in a letter to Suh, per Marc Sessler of NFL.com. "This illegal contact, specifically the second step and push off with your left foot, clearly could have been avoided."

Suh was not flagged on the play. Though he was initially blocked into Rodgers and stumbled backward, Suh took an additional step and appeared to linger on Rodgers' calf. The Packers quarterback had left the game earlier with an injury to the same leg.

As he was getting to his feet, Rodgers angrily pushed Suh and lobbied for an unnecessary roughness call. Referee Walt Anderson told Rodgers he felt the contact was incidental at the time.

"He'll probably say it was an accident, he was getting blocked into him," Rodgers told reporters. "That's what [referee] Walt Anderson said. But we'll see."

Suh has been punished multiple times for on-field infractions, including hundreds of thousands in fines and a two-game suspension in 2011 for a stomp on former Packers center Evan Dietrich-Smith.

Ed Werder @EdwerderRFA

As @mortreport noted, #Green Bay game was first that @NdamukongSuh off NFL repeat offender list as 32-games between player safety violations

Having Suh in the lineup will be an obvious boon for a Lions defense tasked with stopping a red-hot Cowboys offense. Dallas averaged 41.25 points per game in its four-game December winning streak, holding three-touchdown leads in each contest. Without Suh and an injured Nick Fairley, the Lions were looking at an uphill battle.

Now they'll at the very least have a fighting chance. 

Follow Tyler Conway (@tylerconway22) on Twitter

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