*Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh says he is ”pleased” that the NFL has decided not to suspend him for Sunday’s NFL playoff game at Dallas.
Suh spoke Wednesday, one day after a hearing officer reduced a one-game league suspension to a $70,000 fine.
”I’m just pleased with the decision,” Suh said, repeatedly saying ”next question” when pressed about the move and why he was in trouble in the first place.
Suh was suspended for stepping on Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ left leg twice last Sunday in a loss to Green Bay for the NFC North title. He stepped on Rodgers once with each foot, which violated unnecessary roughness rules, according to the league.
Hearing officer Ted Cottrell heard Suh’s expedited appeal Tuesday and ruled that Suh can play at Dallas but must pay the fine.
Cottrell’s decision means the Lions will have one of their key defensive cogs. Suh finished the season with a team-high 8 1/2 sacks and helped Detroit rank second overall and first in run defense.
Suh has a long list of fines and one previous suspension, for two games in 2011 for stepping on the right arm of Packers lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith. Suh has been fined eight times in his career, but this was the first in 2014.
Suh was fined $100,000 for an illegal block on Vikings center John Sullivan in Week 1 of 2013 during an interception return. That was the largest fine in NFL history for on-field conduct, not counting suspensions.
The suspension was imposed Monday by Merton Hanks, the NFL’s vice president of football operations. Hanks ruled that Suh engaged in a non-football act that placed his opponent at unnecessary risk of injury.