Ndamukong Suh’s reputation for being a nasty player was born as an NFL rookie.
Suh slammed two quarterbacks to the ground by grabbing their helmets two years ago, and his image became even more notorious last season when he infamously stomped on an opponent.
Just when the Detroit defensive tackle started to improve his ability to play the game cleanly this season, he had a setback.
But if you think he’s contrite, guess again.
The NFL fined Suh $30,000 on Wednesday for unnecessary roughness because he kicked Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub in the groin area. The previous day, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the league didn’t suspend him because it couldn’t reach a judgment on his intent.
“I was dragged to the ground,” Suh said. “A lot of things happen to me.
“It’s part of the game.”
Suh was on his chest after being taken down by an offensive lineman when the cleats of his left shoe hit Schaub below the belt in Detroit’s loss to Houston on Thanksgiving.
“I just thought it was very Suh-like to give a little extension there at the end,” Texans linebacker Connor Barwin said.
For the first time, Suh tried to explain what happened.
“It’s a crazy play, it’s one that unfortunately happened,” he said. “I didn’t even realize it until the end of the game, when I see my Twitter feed, I see my friends telling me about it. Other than that, I can’t do much more about it. I was being dragged to the ground and my foot inadvertently hit the man.
“But it’s over with and I am moving forward and getting ready to play the Colts.”
Detroit (4-7) will have the 6-foot-4, 307-pound Suh on the field when it plays host to Indianapolis (7-4) because he dodged another suspension from the NFL – Suh missed two games last season after he stomped on Green Bay’s Evan Dietrich-Smith in a nationally televised Thanksgiving game. Now, his reputation has taken another hit.
“I think I’m always going to be punished some form or fashion for last Thanksgiving,” Suh said. “I apologized for it and I will continue to apologize for it. It’s something that happened, a mistake that I made. I’m living up to it and I’ll continue to move past it.”
Suh has been fined in his career for roughing up QBs: Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton, Chicago’s Jay Cutler and Cleveland’s Jake Delhomme.
ANOTHER FINE MESS
Jared Allen’s hit on Lance Louis knocked the Chicago Bears guard out for the rest of the season and earned the Minnesota Vikings defensive end plenty of scorn from his division rivals.
It also earned him a $21,000 fine from the NFL.
Allen hit Louis with a block after an interception by Antoine Winfield. Louis didn’t see Allen coming, and his leg stuck in the turf on the hit and tore the ACL in his left knee.
GRUDEN GOING NOWHERE
The Cleveland Browns and former NFL coach Jon Gruden denied a report that Browns owner Jimmy Haslam has offered Gruden a stake in the team in exchange for coaching the University of Tennessee football team.
A Memphis TV station, WREG, reported that Gruden has a contract offer in hand from Tennessee and part of the deal would give Gruden a share of the Browns. Haslam has been a major booster for Tennessee for years.
Niners coach Jim Harbaugh said Colin Kaepernick’s “hot hand” was the deciding factor in getting the start at quarterback over Alex Smith on Sunday at St. Louis. … Lions wide receiver Titus Young has returned to practice two weeks after he was told to stay away because of “unacceptable” behavior. … The Jaguars claimed two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Jason Babin off waivers from Philadelphia, and will pay the remaining $1.69 million of his 2012 salary.