Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who had a one-game suspension reduced to a $70,000 fine, reportedly said during the appeal hearing that his feet were numb from the cold for twice stepping on Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Wednesday that Suh told NFL appeals officer Ted Cottrell on Tuesday that he couldn’t tell the difference between Rodgers’ feet and the ground.
Suh had his suspension overturned Tuesday and instead was fined $70,000. He will be allowed to play during Sunday’s playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys.
Suh was originally suspended one game by the league for stepping on Rodgers’ calf and ankle during the Packers’ 30-20 win over the Lions last Sunday. On Monday, the league said Suh “unnecessarily stepped on (the) opponent’s unprotected leg as he lay on the ground unable to protect himself.”
Suh attended the appeal hearing at the league office in New York on Tuesday and explained his conduct to Cottrell, according to ESPN.
A new formula removed Suh from the “repeat offender” list after Week 16. Suh’s last violation was in Week 1 of 2013.
Rodgers said he has doubts as to how Suh’s actions could be viewed as accidental.
“The only thing I can say is if you step on something in your everyday life or if you step on somebody on the field,” Rodgers said Tuesday. “The first reaction seems to be looking back and maybe apologizing with your hands or maybe pulling your foot back right away, and I’m just not sure that’s what happened on Sunday.”