Winston: Suh 'loses benefit of doubt'
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Apparently an elbow swing by Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh during the Arizona-Detroit game Sept. 15 slipped by everyone except Cardinals right tackle Eric Winston, who was the intended target.[+] EnlargeAP Photo/G. Newman LowranceEric Winston downplayed an elbow swing by Ndamukong Suh, but said the Lions defensive tackle has "probably lost the benefit of the doubt with a lot of people."
A video posted at ProFootballTalk.com on Saturday clearly shows Suh throwing his right elbow at Winston's head after the play had passed the line of scrimmage. A flag was not thrown and the league office has not made any public comments about the play.
Winston downplayed the incident when asked about it Monday.
"Things happen out there," he said. "I was moving him pretty good. He was trying to get off me. I don't know if it was intentional or not. I doubt it. But I think with that guy, obviously he's probably lost the benefit of the doubt with a lot of people."
The video shows Winston, who wears No. 73, beginning the play by double-teaming Suh with right guard Paul Fanaika, who eventually peels away. Winston is left one-on-one with Suh and does a good job of keeping him out of the backfield and away from the ball carrier, running back Rashard Mendenhall. Winston appears to lose his balance after Mendenhall runs by and falls to the ground, but instead of just letting go of Winston, Suh appears to try to land an elbow to Winston's head.
"If he swings like that and hits me across the shoulder like that, it's fine," Winston said. "I'm not going to go off and say he was purposely taking a swing at my head. I think he was probably just trying to flail and get off the block.
"It's not the first time it's ever happened to me and not gotten called or not said anything and probably won't be the last. It's the way it goes," he continued. "I just move down the road."
Suh, whose appeal of a $100,000 fine for a low block on Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle John Sullivan was to be heard Tuesday, has not addressed the incident with Winston. The defensive tackle is scheduled for media availability Wednesday.
No decision was expected Tuesday in Suh's appeal, league sources told ESPN NFL Insider Ed Werder. Suh is arguing that his hit was legal and that other players have committed more egregious fouls without being suspended or fined a similar amount.
The appeal is being heard by former Vikings and Baltimore Ravens center Matt Birk -- who rescinded the one-game suspension of Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Dashon Goldson last week while imposing a $100,000 fine.
ESPN NFL Insider Ed Werder contributed to this report.
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