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Friday, November 25, 2011
Multiple-game suspension possible for Suh

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

DETROIT -- It might be a few days before we learn whether NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will suspend Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh for acts that led to his ejection from Thursday's 27-15 loss to the Green Bay Packers. It wouldn't at all be surprising to see a one-game penalty, but if Goodell's indignation matches that of his former head of officiating, it could be longer.

Mike Pereira, now an analyst for Fox Sports, wrote a scathing column on Suh's actions and explanations Thursday at Ford Field. I realize Pereira is now a member of the media, but it's fair to assume that his point of view is at least partially informed by knowledge of the NFL's inner operation.

The only question, Pereira wrote, is how many games Suh will be suspended for and added: "Suh's not dirty, he's filthy."

Thursday, Suh said he "by no means" intentionally stepped on Packers guard Evan Dietrich-Smith, the act cited by referee Terry McAulay for ejection from the game. "I'm on one leg and I'm trying to get off that myself and at the same time being pushed by his teammates. So where, how am I supposed to do anything else?"

Pereira rejected that explanation in a manner Goodell could as well. Pereira: "A personal foul is one thing, but what Suh did Thursday was a non-football act. When a player hits another player with a late hit or commits a helmet-to-helmet hit, those are considered football plays. Stomping on somebody or spitting on someone -- those are considered premeditated acts."

As precedent, Pereira cited the five-game suspension the NFL handed defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth for stomping on the throat of Dallas Cowboys center Andre Gurode in 2006. I don't think Suh's act matches what Haynesworth did, but the Lions might want to brace for a multiple-game suspension nonetheless.