Ndamukong Suh fined $31K for hit on Brandon Weeden
Mere hours after Lions center Dominic Raiola told MLive that the league’s latest review into Ndamukong Suh’s on-field behavior was “ridiculous,” Suh reportedly was fined $31,500 for a hit Sunday on Cleveland QB Brandon Weeden.
Mike O’Hara of the Lions’ website confirmed the fine, though he did not specifically say which Week 6 play had drawn Suh’s latest punishment. Odds are, it’s for when Suh appeared to hit Weeden in the chest while shoving the Cleveland QB to the ground — that play was highlighted for review by NFL VP of officiating Dean Blandino, during a video filmed inside the league’s “Officiating Command Center.”
Blandino noted possible “helmet-to-body” contact when picking out Suh’s hit for another look.
Suh’s hit did not draw a penalty during the game, and it appeared that he actually let up a bit on Weeden.
Green Bay’s Nick Perry earned a $15K fine (and a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty) for a similar play last season against the Colts. Perry drove his helmet into Andrew Luck’s chest/shoulder, forcing a fumble. He was penalized for “use of the crown of the helmet,” which is an action the NFL has worked to outlaw. Presumably, that’s where Suh crossed the line against Weeden.
Suh and Weeden also had another run-in during the Lions’ win. On a Weeden scramble in the third quarter, Suh grabbed him and tossed him to the ground with authority. There was no penalty called there either (and probably not one warranted), but Blandino may have double-checked the later incident as well.
“It was a football play to me,” Raiola told Justin Rogers of the first Suh-Weeden contact. “I guess maybe my view of football is different from the way football is viewed now. I really don’t know what they’re looking at.”
Suh drew a $100,000 fine earlier this year, after a vicious low block on Minnesota’s John Sullivan during an interception return. According to the Detroit Free Press‘ Dave Birkett, Suh has now lost almost $400K in salary because of league punishments — $209,000 in fines and approximately $165K while serving a two-game suspension.
Regardless of which play was in question Sunday, there’s little question that Suh’s reputation came into play here. Even if the league deemed both collisions with Weeden unseemly, his punishment still worked out to more than twice what Perry was fined for a comparable hit.
Suh really has erased any leeway he might have otherwise received from the league with his past actions, be it the hit on Sullivan, his stomp of the Packers’ Evan Dietrich-Smith or his face mask/body slam of ex-Browns QB Jake Delhomme in the 2010 preseason. The NFL surely watches Detroit’s DT much more closely now, and this latest slap on the wrist may be a result of that added attention.