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Cold Feet? Detroit Lions' Ndamukong Suh suspension lifted

By
Alex Butler

DETROIT, Dec. 31 (UPI) -- Detroit Lions legs making the most news these days aren't coming from its special teams.

Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh stepped on the leg of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers Sunday, as Rodgers was on the ground following a play. The NFL suspended Suh Monday, for the Lions' NFC wild card playoff game Sunday at Dallas. Suh appealed the suspension immediately.

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During Sunday's post game press conference, Packers head coach Mike McCarthy called Suh's play "ridiculous" and said that "there's no place for that."

The NFL ruled that Suh "unnecessarily stepped on [his] opponent's unprotected leg as he lay on the ground unable to protect himself."

The previous Sunday, Lions center Dominic Raiola stepped on the lower leg of Bears defensive lineman Ego Ferguson. Raiola was suspended for the Packers game, which the Lions lost 30-20.

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Raiola told MLive.com's Kyle Meinke that "There's no way that...he [Suh] did something like that on purpose."

On Wednesday, Adam Schefter reported that Suh's feet were numb from the cold, according to a source. Suh had his one-game suspension overturned Tuesday, by NFL appeals officer Ted Cottrell, and will now pay a $70,000 fine.

Former NFL official and NFL on FOX rules expert Mike Pereira said in a YouTube video that he disagreed with the suspension.

"Listen, Suh stepped on Aaron Rodgers and I firmly believe if it wasn't Suh and it was another no-name who didn't have history and it wasn't Aaron Rodgers, it wouldn't have led to any fine at all," Pereira said. "Referee Walt Anderson, he sent a text into the league after the game saying he saw the whole thing and in real time he never read any intent. Slow motion makes it a little different, but to me, is this egregious for a suspension? No."

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NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said that Suh did not win his appeal, but had his punishment reduced by NFL Vice President of Football Operations Merton Hanks.

Suh was fined $100,000 for an illegal chop block in the first game of 2013. Suh was suspended for two games in 2011 for stepping on the arm of Packers lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith. The All-Pro has also been fined numerous times during his five-year career.

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