Falcons say Lions taunted hurt QB

Updated: October 24, 2011, 12:36 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Two key members of the Atlanta Falcons accused Detroit Lions defensive linemen Ndamukong Suh and Cliff Avril of taunting quarterback Matt Ryan after what initially appeared to be a serious leg injury during Sunday's 23-16 Atlanta win.

According to Falcons center Todd McClure and receiver Roddy White, both Suh and Avril prodded and mocked Ryan after Falcons offensive lineman Will Svitek stepped on Ryan's ankle.

White I lost a whole lot of respect for 90 [Ndamukong Suh] today, and also 92 [Cliff Avril], the [expletive] they were doing when Matt [Ryan] got hurt. That was unacceptable.

-- Falcons WR Roddy White
on Lions D-linemen taunting Matt Ryan

Ryan went down and immediately grabbed his leg, and according to the Falcons players, Avril kicked the feet of the Atlanta quarterback and mockingly called for trainers to cart Ryan off the field.

"I lost a whole lot of respect for 90 [Suh] today, and also 92 [Cliff Avril], the [expletive] they were doing when Matt got hurt," White told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "That was unacceptable. ... Like 92 was kicking [Ryan's] feet, saying, 'Get him off the field.' We don't do stuff like that. ... When you compete, you never want to see a guy get hurt."

Ryan eventually walked off under his own power and headed down the tunnel, but returned during the team's next offensive possession. He will have an MRI on his foot Monday.

McClure singled out Suh, who has begun to develop a reputation as a dirty player, for his actions when Ryan appeared hurt.

"I had respect for Suh before the game," McClure told The Journal-Constitution. "But when Matt was on the ground, the things [Suh] was saying and the trash he was talking was definitely uncalled for. There are certain things you don't do. [He said], 'Get the cart' and several other things that I can't repeat."

Suh had not responded to the Falcons' accusations as of early Monday morning, but Avril defended himself on Twitter.

"Come on I'm not in the business of hurting not one guy on the field... I would never taunt anyone on an injury...," Avril wrote Sunday night.

The fourth-year player followed that with a tweet seemingly accusing the Falcons of dirty play.

Avril continued, "But if we want to talk about dirty players look at the film and see who prides themselves on being durty..."

Suh was fined $20,000 this preseason after roughing up Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton. And he was fined twice last year for hits on Chicago's Jay Cutler during the regular season and Cleveland's Jake Delhomme in a preseason game. The reigning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year denies that he plays beyond the rules, though, insisting that he simply plays hard on every play.

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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