Ndamukong Suh receives record fine for cheap shot on Vikings lineman John Sullivan [GIF]
Yesterday, Detroit Lions defense tackle Ndamukong Suh received a $100,000 fine from the NFL for diving at the legs of Vikings center John Sullivan during the second quarter of last Sunday's 34-24 Vikings loss. It's the first six-figure fine for an on-field incident in league history.
Suh's dirty play happened following a development that is becoming painfully familiar to Vikings fans -- a Christian Ponder interception. The pick was taken to the house by DeAndre Levy, but Suh's illegal block nullified Levy's touchdown. Sullivan was left clutching his knee on the field and seemed to be seriously injured, but he was able to return to the game and thankfully isn't expect to miss any time.
Here's a Deadspin GIF of Suh's dirty block:
In a statement, NFL VP of football operations Merton Hanks explained that Suh "was penalized for violating Rule 12, Section 2, Article 5 (a), which prohibits blocks below the waist by players of either team after a change of possession."
ESPN reports that Suh plans to appeal the $100k fine, which is a relative drop in the bucket when you consider his total compensation for this season is more than $12 million (he received an $11.5 million signing bonus in addition to his $630,000 salary).
A large part of the reason the NFL came down so hard on Suh is because this is far from the first time he's found himself in hot water for playing dirty. From ESPN:
The NFL fined Suh $30,000 last season for unnecessary roughness because he kicked Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub in the groin area. He was suspended for two games in 2011 after he stomped on Green Bay's Evan Dietrich-Smith.
Suh has also been fined in previous seasons for roughing up quarterbacks: the Cincinnati Bengals' Andy Dalton, the Chicago Bears' Jay Cutler and then-Cleveland Browns QB Jake Delhomme.
Sullivan, who had major offseason surgery on the same knee Suh dove at on Sunday, told USA Today he's "just happy I wasn't hurt -- seriously injured."
"There's a reason that play is illegal," he continued. "It's incredibly dangerous. I just feel fortunate that I'll be playing this week."
Suh, for his part, reportedly apologized to Sullivan at halftime. He told Sullivan he meant to hit him in the waist, not the legs.
Asked for his reaction to Suh's apology, Sullivan told reporters, "I think guys get caught up in the play sometimes and sometimes things happen... I appreciate the fact that he said something to me."
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