Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh says he wasn't trying to kick or stomp on Packers offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith during Green Bay's Thanksgiving Day win on Thursday. Instead, Suh says, he was just trying to stabilize himself upon getting up off the ground.
Suh spoke about the incident — that earned him a personal foul and an ejection from the game during the third quarter — following the game, and he tried his best to downplay the situation.
"First and foremost, I'm only going to apologize to my teammates, my coaches and my true fans for allowing the refs to have an opportunity to take me out of this game," Suh said when addressing the media.
"What I did was remove myself from the situation in the best way I felt. My intentions were not to kick anybody, as I did not, [just] removing myself [from the situation]. As you see, I'm walking away from the situation. With that, I apologize to my teammates, and my fans, and my coaches for allowing … putting myself in a position to be misinterpreted and taken out of the game."
Suh also spoke about what his perceived reputation as a dirty player adds to the situation.
"I understand in this world because of the type of player and type of person I am, all eyes are on me. So why would I do something to jeopardize myself and jeopardize my team first and foremost? I don't do bad things, and I have no intention to hurt somebody. If I want to hurt him, I'm going to hit his quarterback, as I did throughout that game.
"You guys are going to create your own storyline, people are going to have their own opinions — that's fine. The only [people] that I really care about are my teammates, my true fans, and my coaches and their opinions and that's where it lies."
The Packers scored shortly after the Suh penalty, and that score set the tone for a third quarter in which Green Bay outscored Detroit 17-0 en route to a 27-15 win.
Lions coach Jim Schwartz was noncomittal when talking about the play after the game.
"Obviously, they threw a flag and [he] got ejected from the game," Schwartz said. "We can't afford to lose anybody, much less a healthy player. Regardless of what our intent is, we can't put ourselves in that position"
Suh, who has been fined three times in his young career for questionable hits and behavior, wouldn't comment on whether or not he thought he would be further disciplined by commissioner Roger Goodell.