NFL News: Suh apologizes to Goodell but is still suspended for two gamesRegional Sports
-- According to ESPN, Ndamukong Suh called NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Sunday to apologize for stomping on Packers' guard Evan Dietrich-Smith. But the gesture apparently didn't help, because Suh was suspended today for two games without pay.
DETROIT - According to ESPN, Ndamukong Suh called NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Sunday to apologize for stomping on Packers' guard Evan Dietrich-Smith. But the gesture apparently didn't help, because Suh was suspended today for two games without pay.
There was no immediate word on whether he'll appeal. But if he does, the league promises to hold a hearing before the Lions play at New Orleans on Sunday night. As it stands now, Suh will miss that game, plus the Lions' December 11th home contest against Minnesota. And he'll lose two game checks totaling $164,000. If Suh takes the suspension, the Lions will have a roster exemption while he's gone.
In a statement before practice today, the Lions said they respect the process the league undertook in deciding on the two-game suspension. Suh, a second-year pro, slammed Dietrich-Smith's helmet to the ground three times, and then got up and stomped on his right arm while Dietrich-Smith was still on the ground. After the game, Suh claimed it wasn't his fault. He said the Packers' player caused the skirmish on the ground, and Suh couldn't keep his balance after he stood up. And Suh's only apology after last week's game was for being ejected.
The Green Bay Packers will start practicing today for their Sunday contest
against the Giants at New York. The 11-0 Packers would clinch a playoff
spot with a victory -- and they're expected to win the NFC North Division
title this weekend or next. The Giants are at 6-5, with a three-game
losing streak which dropped them a game behind Dallas in the NFC East.
Packers' guard Josh Sitton is not expected to play against the Giants, but he said his injured right knee was feeling better over the last couple of days. The Packers have not worked out as a team since their Thanksgiving Day victory at Detroit. And running back James Starks said the time off has been a blessing, as he recovers from knee-and-ankle injuries suffered against Tampa Bay 10 days ago. Starks says he would practice today, and there's no reason he can't play on Sunday. Linebacker Desmond Bishop spent the weekend getting treatment for a pulled calf muscle suffered against the Lions. He's not ruling himself out of the Giants game -- but it all depends on how things go at practice this week.
The New York Giants will try to break a three-game losing streak on Sunday when they take on the undefeated Green Bay Packers in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Giants got crushed at New Orleans last night, 49-24. The New York defense gave up 577 yards of total offense to Drew Brees-and-Company. That's the second-most in Giants' history. But the Giants stacked up a pile of yards as well -- just like most of Green Bay's opponents have done this season. Eli Manning threw for 406 yards and a pair of touchdowns, both to Victor Cruz. And Manning completed 21 straight passes at one point. That's one shy of the NFL single-game record. Still, New York dropped to 6-5, a game behind first-place Dallas in the NFC East.
Packers' linebacker Erik Walden apologized yesterday for causing a distraction to the team in the wake of his domestic abuse arrest for an argument with his live-in girlfriend. Walden spent last weekend in jail, after his girlfriend hit her head on a bedpost and injured a thumb during the argument early last Friday. Prosecutors did not immediately file charges, saying they were not sure who the aggressor was. And Walden's attorney, Steve Richards, said yesterday it's likely that Walden won't be charged. He bases that on his own investigation. Richards said the woman never intended to file a police report, and some parts of her statement to the arresting officers might not have been reported correctly. He said Walden's girlfriend did not change her story, as the district attorney said -- but she did go back to clarify some things. Walden said it's unfortunate he brought something negative to the undefeated Packers -- and he said he's cooperating fully in the legal process. The Packers have not said whether he faces discipline from the team.
The Mnnesota Vikings placed four players on season-ending injured reserve among a flurry of moves on Tuesday. Wide receiver Michael Jenkins, safety Tyrell Johnson, long snapper Cullen Loeffler and safety Husain Abdullah were all placed on IR. To replace those four players on the roster, the Vikes signed safety Jarrad Page, wideout Stephen Burton, long snapper Matt Katula and safety Andrew Sendejo. Minnesota also added tight end Mickey Shuler to the practice squad. Minnesota will host Denver on Sunday at noon.
Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker, a former Golden Gopher star and Cold Spring native, will be returning to his home state to play in a stadium he is familiar with. Decker played in the Metrodome for three seasons with the Gophers before moving on to TCF Bank Stadium in his final year of eligibility. Decker caught a touchdown in Denver's overtime win over San Diego last Sunday and says he is happy to be making at least one big play each game. Eight of Decker's 37 pass catches this season have gone for touchdowns.
Former Viking and current Seahawks wide receiver Sidney Rice was held out of practice yesterday and Seattle coach Pete Carroll said he's almost certainly unavailable for Thursday's game against Philadelphia. Rice suffered a head injury last Sunday against Washington. It's his second concussion in three games, and the league's protocol for players who suffer concussions has been a factor in how the team has handled the injury. Ben Obomanu will replace Rice in the starting lineup.
Former University of Wisconsin defensive back Mel Tucker will reportedly be the interim coach for the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars. Various media reports said Jack Del Rio was fired this morning, after his team has gone 3-8 this season. That guaranteed a non-winning record in Jacksonville for a fourth straight year. Del Rio, a former linebacker for the Minnesota Vikings, was 68-71 in eight-and-a-half seasons with the Jaguars. NFL Network said Tucker, the Jaguars' defensive coordinator, will be the interim coach -- and he'll be considered for the permanent post as well. Tucker played for the Badgers in the early 1990s and he helped coach Barry Alvarez get his first Big Ten win in a game at Minnesota back in 1991 when his hit in the end zone of Golden Gopher tight end Patt Evans secured a 19-16 victory. Tucker is in his 15th year of coaching, his seventh in the NFL, and his third as Jacksonville's defensive coordinator.