Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is facing discipline from the NFL for diving at the knees of an opposing player during Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings, a league official told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
The controversial play occurred during an interception return by Lions linebacker DeAndre Levy, who scored an apparent touchdown to give Detroit the lead. But the play was nullified because Suh was whistled for an illegal low block against Vikings center John Sullivan well behind the play.
Suh’s block drew a 15-yard penalty and the attention of the league office. The two-time Pro Bowler said, however, that he was not attempting to injure Sullivan.
“I wasn’t by any means going for his knees,” Suh said after Detroit’s 34-24 victory. “He knows that. We had a great conversation running out at halftime, and he understood. My aim was his waist to cut him off.”
Sullivan said he was surprised that he didn’t suffer a serious injury on the play and added he did not see Suh coming at him. “That was bad,” he said.
“I missed the shot of it, but the guys were telling me about it,” Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said. “Nobody thought that was a good play, and the fact they got a penalty because of it tells you it wasn’t a good play. You hate to see guys go low on players. You’ve seen the results of it, so it’s not a good thing when it happens.”
Vikings defensive end Jared Allen also disapproved of Suh’s low block.
“[Suh] is a good dude, but that’s uncalled for,” Allen said. “This is a fraternity. In the NFL, you try to take care of guys. Things happen, and guys are going to make hits. But you can’t take a dude’s legs out from behind on an interception return down the field.
“He plays hard. I like his style of play. But if you end a guy’s career like that, it’s just uncalled for.”
The low block was not the first time that the 26-year-old Suh has been questioned for a controversial penalty. He was suspended two games in 2011 for stomping on the arm of Green Bay Packers offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith during a Thanksgiving Day game.
Suh also made headlines in last year’s Thanksgiving game, when he kicked Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub in the groin, drawing a fine from the NFL.
But Suh insists he was simply “trying to make a block” on Sullivan during Sunday’s contest.
“On that particular play, I’m looking to make a block, and I see Sullivan, which I find out later who it was,” Suh said. “I think it was Levy who had the pick-six. I’m just trying to make a block and really cut him off so he doesn’t get a chance to get ahold of him.
“I spoke to [Sullivan]. We’re good, and that’s all that matters.”
Lions coach Jim Schwartz agreed that Suh’s block was not a dirty play.
“I don’t think there was any attempt to injure or things like that,” Schwartz said Monday. “It wasn’t 40 yards behind the play. It wasn’t hitting the guy from behind kind of thing like you’ve seen from other players recently, going low and hitting guys from behind.”
ESPN.com’s Ben Goessling, Michael Rothstein and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
This article was originally posted on ESPN.com