When the NFL imposed a one-game suspension on Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh for stepping on the leg of Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the league didn’t mention Suh’s history. And for good reason.
As noted by Judy Battista of NFL Media, the league now provides a player with a clean slate if he goes 32 games without a violation. While Suh was fined $100,000 for an illegal block on Vikings center John Sullivan during Week One of the 2013 regular season, Suh had no infractions in the next 15 2013 regular-season games, three 2014 preseason games, and 15 2014 regular-season games.
That’s 33 games of good behavior before Sunday’s incident of misbehavior.
Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press points out that Suh was saved in part by the reversal of a $31,500 fine imposed on Suh for striking former Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden in the helmet.
Given that Suh played in three preseason games, the NFL’s failure to spot a blow to the helmet from Suh against former Cardinals tackle Eric Winston in Week Two of the 2013 season didn’t matter. Because Suh was facing a suspension for his next infraction after the $100,000 fine, a suspension should have been imposed for a Week Three game at Washington. Ultimately, the NFL opted not to even fine Suh for the missed infraction. Even if Suh had been fined or suspended, he would have made it 32 games without a player-safety infraction before stepping on Rodgers’ leg.