The National Football League has disciplined Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, as Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports the league issued a $30,000 fine for his kick to the groin of Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub during the Texans' 34-31 overtime win on Thanksgiving.
Suh is earning $540,000 in base salary, a figure comprised of 17 weekly game checks worth $31,765 in pretax income. A $30,000 fine means that Suh played for free last week. According to Birkett, Suh addressed the incident for the first time, proclaiming his innocence of any dirty behavior.
"I was being dragged to the ground, and my foot inadvertently hit the man," Suh said on Tuesday. "But it's over with, moving forward and getting ready to play the Colts.
"I mean, I was dragged to the ground. A lot of things happened to me. It's a part of the game."
Still, if the league believed that Suh's kick was completely inadvertent, they would not have handed down a fine at all, let alone one in the amount of $30,000.
According to the NFL's 2012 "Fine Schedule," a first violation of "striking/kicking/kneeing" an opponent calls for a fine of $7,875, while a second offense would run a player $15,750. That Suh was docked $30,000 can be taken as a sign that Suh's track record of questionable on-field hits was weighed heavily when the league was making its decision on whether or not Suh would be fined, but also how much of his salary it would dock.