The disciplinary messages obviously have not been received by Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, but that doesn't mean the NFL should stop sending them, especially after Suh's most recent incident Thursday against the Houston Texans.
The NFL now needs to suspend Suh for a minimum of three games after he appeared to intentionally kick Texans quarterback Matt Schaub in the groin during Houston's overtime win on Thanksgiving.
Suh, who was swung around in front of Schaub on the play, clearly changes the direction of his foot as he hits the ground, connecting with the midsection of the Texans quarterback. Schaub then fell to the ground in obvious pain.
According to Pro Football Talk, NFL executive VP of football operations Ray Anderson called the action into question while on the Dan Patrick Show Friday.
“It appeared to be a little out of the ordinary, let’s just say,” Anderson said. “It didn’t appear to be a natural football move, but we’ll withhold judgment until we see all the angles.”
Anderson went on to say that Suh's history with the league will factor into the decision—a process that will begin Monday—and that repeat offenders "really aren't entitled to the benefit of the doubt."
The court of public opinion appears to agree with Anderson. On a separate Pro Football Talk article, nearly 79 percent of voters considered Suh's kick to be intentional. The poll currently has more than 30,000 votes.
As of Sunday morning, Suh had yet to address the incident. He left the locker room before reporters were available Thursday and has since avoided any questions on the issue.
No explanation from Suh should get him out of another suspension.
Mike Freeman of CBS Sports was told by one league source that Suh could be suspended for a game.
"One league source estimated Suh could be suspended for one game," Freeman wrote. "The source said that the NFL likely won't give Suh the benefit of the doubt considering his past incidents."
One game isn't enough given his past indiscretions, while three games seems about right if we're to believe the NFL uses a progressive disciplinary system.
In 2011, Suh was suspended two games after he intentionally slammed the head of Green Bay Packers guard Evan Dietrich-Smith into the ground and then stomped on his arm during last season's Thanksgiving game.
If the NFL finds that Suh's kick was intentional, going back to just a one-game ban doesn't send the same strong message. With the NFL coming down hard on player safety issues, nothing other than a suspension for more than two games would be enough.
Either way, expect a decision from the NFL sometime next week.
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