Ndamukong Suh was fined on Tuesday by the NFL for his illegal low block on Minnesota Vikings center John Sullivan. Suh was able to avoid suspension but was fined $100,000. It is the biggest fine for an individual play that does not include suspensions.
The NFL seems to have raised the stakes due to Suh’s history of fines and suspensions. This is the sixth fine for him in his career. It is likely the last fine that Suh will receive for violating the player safety rules. Next time it will be a suspension.
For the individual play this fine seems to be a little unfair. DeAndre Levy intercepted the ball and John Sullivan was the closest to him. Suh reactied on instinct and went for the block. The problem is that there was no way he was going to tackle Levy. The block was behind the play and took the return for a touchdown off the board.
The block was not grounded in anger toward Sullivan. It was just something that happened during a key part of the game. Suh plays with a killer instinct. The problem is that is what the NFL is trying to get rid of that attitude to protect the safety of its players.
In 2010, Pittsburgh Steelers James Harrison was fined $75,000 for a hit on Cleveland Browns Mohamed Massaquoi. The fine was later reduced on appeals to $50,000. This was a similar situation to what is happening to Suh. Harrison was a repeat offender with malicious hits.
Suh was named caption this year for the first time. This is something that you can’t have from your captain. He had to be able to lead without these constant mental lapses. Hopefully this is the last message the NFL has to send him.
The fine should be appealed and end up being lowered. This fine was defiantly too much for the individual play but when it is seen as a warning for the future and a punishment for his past it seems just. The NFL is trying to change the way that players play to protect everyone in these injury heavy days. They are making an example out of him.
Suh apologized to his teammates for the play in a team meeting. Hopefully he is able to put this behind him and reach his full potential as a player and as a captain. He is definitely a large part of who the Lions are and they will need him going forward.