Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh has been suspended two games by the NFL. He has filed an appeal, and a resolution will occur by Sunday, when the Lions face the Saints.
Before the appeal can be resolved, a hearing must be held. Per multiple reports, the hearing will be conducted on Thursday at 3:00 p.m. ET.
Under the league’s procedures for on-field infractions, appeals are handled by Art Shell (pictured) or Ted Cottrell. Though both men are jointly appointed and compensated by the NFL and the NFLPA, league exec Ray Anderson makes the specific appointment for each case. In this case, Anderson appointed Shell.
Any of the lawyers in the crowd know where this one is going. Since Anderson can make the selection of the person who will hear the appeal of the decision that Anderson made with Merton Hanks, Anderson has the ability to steer the case toward the man who is perceived to be more likely to generate the outcome that the league office desires. Anderson will be able to predict the outcome based on the respective track records of Shell and Cottrell.
As to Suh, it’s possible that the league would prefer to have the suspension reduced from two games to one, since that would demonstrate to the players, the media, and the fans that the appeal process is meaningful and independent.
Regardless, we’ll know the outcome soon. I’m predicting a one-game suspension and a one-game fine, with Suh permitted to return for Week 14 against the Vikings.