As Jarrett Bell of USA Today explains it, plenty of executives will have their fingerprints on the case arising from Suh’s cleat marks.
The process will begin, as it always does, with league vice president Merton Hanks. But NFL executive V.P. of football operations Ray Anderson and two other execs will review the case: Joel Bussert and Ronnie Hill.
In a series of interviews and on-the-record remarks, Anderson has hinted at his view of the case. He said on Friday’s edition of The Dan Patrick Show that the play “appeared to be a little out of the ordinary” and “didn’t appear to be a natural football move.”
Said Anderson to Bell: “From my personal point of view, it was unusual, to say the least. Don’t know if it was a football move I’ve ever seen.”
Anderson is right. Though it likely wasn’t premeditated — there’s even a chance Suh had no idea that he was hitting Schaub in the, um, schwaub — Suh’s leg moves in a way that suggests he was taking the opportunity of having his foot in the vicinity of Schaub to give Schaub a nudge with it. It just so happened that Suh got lucky, or as the case may be unlucky.
After the NFL makes its decision, Suh will have the ability to appeal the case to Ted Cottrell or Art Shell, who are jointly hired and paid by the NFL and the NFLPA. And while Cottrell reversed last week’s attempt to suspend Ravens safety Ed Reed, the process has resulted in the past year in the affirmation of suspensions imposed against Broncos linebacker Joe Mays (on a hit that removed Schaub’s helmet, along with a piece of his ear), Steelers linebacker James Harrison (for nearly removing Colt McCoy’s helmet, along with his entire head), and Suh for his First Annual Thanksgiving Football Foot Stomp.
Given Suh’s history, many expect another suspension.