There's no way around it: Ndamukong Suh's block on Vikings center John Sullivan during the Lions-Vikings game was dirty. It was an absolute cheapshot, completely unnecessary and Suh could pay the price for it with the NFL considering a suspension for the Detroit defensive tackle.
Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press spoke with NFL VP Ray Anderson Monday and Anderson said "all options are on the table" when it comes to punishing Suh.
"All options are on the table with a repeat offender," Anderson said by phone this morning. "You can honestly say it's being reviewed for either a fine and/or a suspension, given his repeat-offender status."
Suh said following the game that there was no malicious intent in his block, although you can see from the play in question that Suh dove at Sullivan's knee while the center was blind.
"By any means, I'm not going for his knees," Suh said. "He knows that. We had a great conversation running out at halftime. And he understood. My aim was his waist, to cut him off."
There's little question that Suh will be fined for this block. The question is whether or not he'll be forced to miss a game (or more) as a result.
Lions coach Jim Schwartz came to the defense of his star player on Monday, claiming something similar to Texans safety D.J. Swearinger recently. Suh apparently didn't want to get pegged with a flag for hitting Sullivan in the head.
“What he explained to me was he didn't want to hit him high because if he hits him in the head right there that's a peel-back (block) and that's a penalty also, and he was trying to hit him at the waist and ended up in a bad spot and went low,” Schwartz said. "It's a penalty, it cost us, it cost us a touchdown in that situation because we turned the ball over on the next play offensively."
"I haven't heard anything from the NFL and usually we don't when it comes to other fouls. I don't think there was any attempt to injure or things like that. It wasn't 40 yards behind the play, it wasn't hitting a guy from behind or some of the things that we've seen from some other players recently, going low and hitting guys from behind."
Schwartz and Suh can defend the defensive player all they want, but at some point you are what your reputation says you are. And Suh's says that he's a player who crosses the line more often than he should.