Source: Ndamukong Suh hearing set
Ndamukong Suh's appeal of his two-game suspension for stomping an opponent will be held Thursday afternoon, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
Suh will present his appeal of his two-game suspension for stomping Packers guard Evan Dietrich-Smith to Art Shell via conference call, the source said. The league handed out the suspension Tuesday, but Suh immediately appealed.
Shell is a joint appointee of the NFL and the players' association for such cases.
Suh stomped on Dietrich-Smith during Detroit's Thanksgiving Day loss to the Packers and was ejected. Should he lose the appeal, he will miss Sunday's game at New Orleans and the Lions' Dec. 11 home game against Minnesota.
Usually, a hearing is held within 10 days of the filing of an appeal. But the league has expedited Suh's high-profile case to give the Lions and the second-year player an answer before the Saints game.
If Suh, the 2010 Defensive Rookie of the Year and an All-Pro, loses the appeal, he can return to the Lions on Dec. 12 before a road game against Oakland. He is barred from practice and the team's facility while suspended.
Early last month, Suh requested and was granted a meeting with commissioner Roger Goodell to discuss his play after he drew several penalties and fines. Suh said he had a better understanding of the rules after that meeting.
On Sunday, with it becoming apparent he would be disciplined again, Suh called Goodell to apologize.
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Against Green Bay on national TV, Suh lifted up his right knee and forcibly stepped on Dietrich-Smith's right arm during the third quarter of the Lions' 27-15 loss. Before the stomp, Suh shoved Dietrich-Smith's helmet toward the turf while separating himself from the Packers player on the ground.
He was penalized and ejected.
Asked about the incident after the game, Suh sounded defiant, insisting he didn't intentionally step on Dietrich-Smith. A day later, following criticism from the Lions, Suh apologized to his teammates, organization and fans -- not to Dietrich-Smith.
His actions prompted more criticism around the league, with some calling Suh the NFL's dirtiest player.
Suh can afford any fines -- he is making $40 million guaranteed with a chance to get paid as much as $68 million in a five-year contract he signed after Detroit drafted him No. 2 overall in 2010.
On Wednesday, the Lions signed defensive lineman Keyunta Dawson to fill Suh's roster spot while he is suspended.
"We do have depth at the defensive tackle position," coach Jim Schwartz said. "Nick Fairley is playing very well, as is Sammie Hill, and Corey Williams is probably playing the best football of his career. So, we're going to be just fine."
Detroit already had a stout defensive front, led by Suh, Williams and defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch, when the Lions picked Fairley with the 13th selection in this year's draft. Fairley won the Lombardi Award while at Auburn, but he hurt his left foot before this season started and didn't play until Oct. 10. He has yet to contribute a sack as a pro, but this weekend could be an opportunity for him in a bigger role.
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"He's able to play more snaps now," Schwartz said. "When he's been in the game, he affects the game. He's not a guy that just goes in there and just makes 11. He's been good, but particularly with where we are this week, we need him to step up and make some plays for us."
Vanden Bosch has six sacks this season, and defensive end Cliff Avril has seven. Suh has been a presence on the interior, and the Lions have depth there. Hill is in his third season and Fluellen is in his fourth.
"Most importantly, we want to play for Suh. He wants to be out there as much as anybody else," Fluellen said. "We have to elevate our game to match the game he always brings to the table."
The Lions are not only without Suh, but they also have some defensive backs recovering from injuries. Louis Delmas and Chris Houston injured their knees against Green Bay. Brandon McDonald hurt a thigh.
Running back Kevin Smith injured his right ankle against the Packers. According to Wednesday's injury report, he didn't practice, but he was around at the beginning during the portion open to reporters. Smith sounded upbeat afterward.
"After you guys left, I got to do some stuff," Smith said. "I felt pretty good for a Wednesday. At this pace, I'm excited. I'm just rehabbing the heck out of it."
NotesCB Eric Wright said he had a chance last weekend to see teammate Jerome Harrison. Wright said the running back was "doing well" after surgery in October for a brain tumor. "He's recovering," Wright said. ... The Lions signed Dawson, signed WR Marcus Harris to the practice squad and put WR Nate Hughes on the practice squad injured reserve list. Hughes has a leg injury.
Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.