After DeAndre Levy intercepted a pass, Suh took out Sullivan with a low block that gave Sullivan a bruised left knee. Levy scored on the play, but the penalty negated the touchdown and the Lions turned it over the very next play.
There's no doubt the fine was so heavy because Suh is a repeat offender. It's a fair fine for Suh. This is his sixth fine in his four-year career, in addition to a suspension he received in 2011 for stomping Green Bay Packers offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith.
The NFL also is trying to send a message with this huge fine. They are letting every team know they will not tolerate low blocks. It's been a focal point since the beginning of the preseason, and the league will come down hard on anyone who does it.
While Suh has dialed down the dirty play since coming into the league in 2010 -- he had just one personal foul penalty in 2012 -- he still needs to take a second to think about what the ramifications of his actions are.
In regards to Sunday's play, Levy was a good 3 or 4 yards ahead of Sullivan when Suh delivered the hit. There was no way Sullivan was going to catch Levy. I can respect the fact Suh was making sure there was no way Sullivan would reach Levy, but pushing him would have gotten the job done.
Low blocks are dangerous and can seriously injure, or even end a player's career. In this case, I don't think Suh was trying to injure Sullivan, I think he was trying to block him, and decided a low block was the best way of doing so.
Suh did apologize to Sullivan, which leads me to believe Suh had no intention of harming the center, who accepted Suh's apology. But an apology also isn't an excuse to continue to put dangerous hits on opposing players.
This season, Suh was given the honor of being a captain of the Lions by his teammates. He has more responsibility to uphold this year, and his actions will be scrutinized more than in years' past.
Captains make mistakes, but captains also learn from their mistakes and help steer their team away from controversy.
Tom Mitsos is a Michigan native who covers the Detroit Lions for the Yahoo Contributor Network. He also is a high school sports reporter at MLive Media Group. You can follow Tom on Twitter.
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- Ndamukong Suh
- Detroit Lions