Earlier this year, Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh drew the ire of Colts guard Mike McGlynn for appearing to celebrate after Suh’s block forced Colts tackle Winston Justice out of the game with an injury.
Suh denied that he was celebrating the injury, but it wasn’t the first time his reaction to an injured opponent led to heated words from one of the injured players’ opponents. Suh and Lions defensive end Cliff Avril got slammed by members of the Falcons last year for allegedly taunting Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan while he was hurt on the turf. The Lions players denied that and accused Falcons offensive linemen of playing dirty in an incident that would be forgotten the next month after Suh’s stomp on Thanksgiving Day against the Packers.
The Lions and Falcons meet in Detroit on Saturday night, which could be an opportunity to renew hostilities. The Falcons aren’t looking to stoke the flames, however. Coach Mike Smith said the incident “wasn’t a big deal” and said it would have no bearing on who wins this year’s game between the teams. Ryan also isn’t looking to revisit what happened last year.
“That’s a long time ago, and we’re a different football team right now; they’re a different football team,” Ryan said, via Josh Katzenstein of the Detroit News. “I have no idea (what they said). I was just kind of collecting myself, trying to get myself back onto the field, so I have no idea.”
With the Falcons securing home-field advantage in the NFC with a victory, they probably don’t need to rehash something from more than a year ago to find motivation this week. The Lions might need some, though. They haven’t shown much motivation during the six-game losing streak they carry into this game.