Lions: Suh's play 'unacceptable'
For the first season-and-a-half of his young career, Ndamukong Suh could almost brush off talk about his penalties and fines, saying he would keep doing what was needed to help his Detroit Lions.
Yesterday, Suh’s team publically chastised the star defensive tackle after he was ejected during a Thanksgiving loss to Green Bay for stomping at an opposing player.
“The on-field conduct exhibited by Ndamukong Suh that led to his ejection from yesterday’s game was unacceptable and failed to meet the high level of sportsmanship we expect from our players,’’ the team said in a statement last night. “Ndamukong has made many positive contributions to the Lions on and off the field. We expect his behavior going forward to consistently reflect that high standard of professionalism.’’
At around the same time the team released its statement, Suh said he has learned his lesson.
“My reaction on Thursday was unacceptable,’’ the star defensive tackle said in a statement on his Facebook page. “I made a mistake, and have learned from it. I hope to direct the focus back to the task at hand - by winning.’’
It could be several days before Suh finds out the true cost of his third-quarter stomp in Detroit’s 27-15 loss to the Packers Thursday. An NFL spokesman said that plays from Week 12 looked at for potential discipline won’t be reviewed until all games are completed.
Suh was dismissed after tangling with Packers offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith. After being pushed off Dietrich-Smith, Suh stepped down hard with his right foot, appearing to make contact with Dietrich-Smith’s right arm.
Suh said he was trying to keep his balance while freeing himself from the brief scuffle. He publically apologized to teammates, coaches, and fans for “allowing the refs to have an opportunity to take me out of this game,’’ but he insisted he didn’t intentionally step on anyone.
In his statement last night on Facebook, he said he’d had more time to reflect.
“Playing professional sports is not a game,’’ he said. “It is a profession with great responsibility, and where performance on and off the field should never be compromised. It requires a calm and determined demeanor, which cannot be derailed by the game, referee calls, fans or other players.’’
Jets extend pair
The Jets quietly extended the contracts of offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and defensive coordinator Mike Pettine during the offseason, the team announced.
The team did not announce the terms, but both Schottenheimer and Pettine are under contract through at least next season.
Both coaches have been highly criticized in recent weeks, especially Schottenheimer, whose offense is ranked 22d in the league and has had several inconsistent showings this season as quarterback Mark Sanchez struggles. This is Schottenheimer’s sixth season as the Jets’ offensive coordinator.
Pettine, handpicked by coach Rex Ryan to follow him from Baltimore to New York, is in his third season with the Jets. He shouldered the blame for Tim Tebow’s winning touchdown last Thursday night in Denver.
In other Jets news, running back LaDainian Tomlinson is listed as questionable and appears unlikely to play against the Bills tomorrow after not practicing all week because of a sprained medial collateral ligament that caused him to miss one game. Rookie wide receiver Jeremy Kerley (knee) is also questionable.
Heyward-Bey on mend
Raiders wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey practiced without pain five days after injuring his neck and spine and suffering a concussion after being tackled by Minnesota linebacker E.J. Henderson. Heyward-Bey, the Raiders’ leading receiver this season, ran patterns and caught passes from quarterback Carson Palmer during a light non-contact drill and took part in some team drills as well. Heyward-Bey remains questionable for tomorrow’s game against the Bears . . . Jahvid Best’s season is over, leaving the Lions to try to piece together an effective running game without their leading rusher. Best has been bothered by concussion problems and hasn’t played since Oct. 16. Kevin Smith gave Detroit a boost, running for 140 yards last weekend in a win over Carolina, but Smith went down with a right ankle injury in Thursday’s loss to Green Bay . . . Kyle Orton will have the opportunity to compete for the Chiefs’ starting quarterback job, though in all likelihood it’ll be after tomorrow’s game against the Steelers. Tyler Palko is expected to get his second consecutive start tomorrow in place of injured Matt Cassel . . . 49ers safety Dashon Goldson was fined $25,000 by the NFL for punching Arizona receiver Early Doucet in last Sunday’s game. Doucet was fined $10,000 for unnecessary roughness when he struck Goldson in the helmet.
Packers outside linebacker Erik Walden was arrested on suspicion of felony domestic violence/substantial battery and will remain in the Brown County (Wis.) Jail until at least Monday. Walden allegedly assaulted his live-in girlfriend at the couple’s apartment in Lawrence, just outside of Green Bay . . . Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is doubtful for tomorrow’s game at Atlanta because of an ankle sprain. Peterson hasn’t practiced all week . . . The Rams placed two players on injured reserve, right tackle Jason Smith (concussion, neck) and receiver Mark Clayton (knee) . . . Bills starting safety George Wilson will miss his second straight game because of a neck injury.