One of the biggest stories to come out of Week 17 was Ndamukong Suh stepping on the ankle of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. For his actions, the league has suspended Suh without pay for the Detroit Lions' wild card game this Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys, per a report by ESPN's Chris Mortensen.
During the second half of the NFC North-deciding game between the Lions and Packers, Rodgers took a hit after connecting with Jordy Nelson for a key first down. While on the ground, Suh stepped on Rodgers' ankle with his right foot before stepping off and replacing it with his left. At that point, according to a league statement, Suh began "applying pressure and unnecessarily pushing off Rodgers' unprotected leg with his left foot, violating playing rules prohibiting unnecessary roughness."
In his letter to Suh, NFL Vice President of Football Operations Merton Hanks wrote, "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. This illegal contact, specifically the second step and push off with your left foot, clearly could have been avoided." Hanks added "you unnecessarily stepped on your opponent's unprotected leg as he lay on the ground unable to protect himself."
Suh is expected to appeal the suspension on Tuesday.
Intentional or not, Suh has done little in his career to warrant the benefit of the doubt. Three years ago he was ejected from a game after stomping on the arm of then-Packers guard Evan Dietrich-Smith. Suh has also been criticized for delivering late hits such as this one on Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Chad Henne.
Here are a couple views of Suh's ankle step from Sunday:
Suh's actions come one week after teammate Dominic Raiola stomped on the ankle of Chicago Bears defensive lineman Ego Ferguson. Raiola was suspended one game for the infraction and will return this weekend when the Lions travel to Dallas.