Ndamukong Suh reportedly blames numb feet for stepping on Aaron Rodgers
Ndamukong Suh reportedly claimed during his appeal hearing that the reason he purportedly stepped on Aaron Rodgers twice was that his feet were numb from the cold and he could not tell the difference between the calf of the Green Bay Packers quarterback and the ground, per a report from ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
The Detroit Lions defensive tackle reportedly provided the somewhat dubious excuse during a personal appearance at a hearing in front of NFL appeals officer Ted Cotrell in New York on Tuesday.
It must have worked to some extent, as Suh, originally suspended for Detroit’s Wild Card game against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, had his one-game ban lifted and the league instead fined him $70,000 for the incident.
When the NFL issued its original ruling on the play, it stated that Suh “unnecessarily stepped on [the] opponent’s unprotected leg as he lay on the ground unable to protect himself.” The play occurred during Green Bay’s 30-20 win over Detroit at Lambeau Field on Sunday.
Sources reportedly told Schefter that Cotrell agreed that Suh violated player-safety policies but nevertheless reduced the penalty imposed upon the oft-controversial defensive player whose on-the-field conduct has on a handful of occasions brought into question his style of play.
Even if Suh’s excuse for his conduct swayed Cotrell — and to the extent of which the Lions star’s claim that numb feet were the catalyst for twice stepping on Rodgers’ leg had an effect on the altering of his punishment is unclear — the Packers quarterback didn’t appear inclined to believe any excuses.
“Well, I don’t know,” Rodgers said when asked if Suh deserved to be suspended before it was announced that the Lions tackle’s appeal was successful, per the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. “If you step on something in your everyday life, or if you step on somebody on the field, the first reaction seems to be looking back and maybe apologizing with your hands. Or pulling your foot back right away. And I’m just not sure that’s what happened.”
(GIFs via SB Nation)