Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh faces no prosecution, for now, arising from his Friday night automobile accident in his hometown of Portland. But that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s off the hook when it comes to the league office.
Steve Wyche of NFL Network reports, via USA Today, that the league is “monitoring fallout” from the incident, but that the league “plans to let the legal process play out and not intervene.”
The fact that Suh already has been suspended by the NFL for an on-field infraction doesn’t mean he’s regarded as a repeat offender under the separate and distinct personal-conduct policy. Then again, to the extent the personal-conduct policy targets workplace violence and Suh’s stomp on Evan Dietrich-Smith came well after the whistle, the league could find a way to bend and twist the language of the two sets of rules to fit the Suh stomp within the scope of the personal-conduct policy.
While authorities reportedly don’t plan to reopen the case despite claims from a passenger in Suh’s car that conflict with information Suh provided to police, an injury lawsuit could be coming. And the information developed and revealed through that specific aspect of the legal process could, in theory, cause the NFL to take action.
If nothing else, a lawsuit against Suh could put him in position for discipline if a similar incident occurs in the future. The league already has set such a precedent with the case of Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who was suspended six games (reduced to four) after simply being sued for sexual assault in Nevada and accused, but never charged, with sexual assault in Georgia.
So while any action against Suh at this point would seem to be unlikely at best and distant at worst, the incident could lay the foundation for immediate discipline, if something similar happens in the future.