"I wasn't by any means going for [the] knees," Ndamukong Suh said of the low block. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
It is the largest fine for a single on-field incident in NFL history.
The play happened with 14:09 left in the second quarter, when Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder threw an interception to Lions linebacker DeAndre Levy, who appeared to take the ball back for a touchdown. But the score was negated because Suh was flagged for a low block penalty on a play in which Levy was already far past Sullivan up the field. The block seemed gratuitous at the time, and given Suh's reputation for playing on both sides of the line throughout his NFL career, the fine isn't that surprising.
“I wasn’t by any means going for his knees, and he knows that,” Suh said after the game. “We had a great convo about it at halftime, and he understood.”
The second overall pick in the 2010 NFL draft, Suh had already lost $242,794 in fines and lost game checks, per MLive.com. He was suspended for two games in November 2011 after he was seen stomping Green Bay Packers offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith in a Thanksgiving game.
“I talked to him on the field about it because obviously it cost us a touchdown, and it was behind the play," Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said of the block on Sullivan. "It wasn’t very far behind the play, but it was behind the play as an offensive lineman. He wasn’t going to catch Levy. What he [Suh] explained to me was he didn’t want to hit him high because if he hits him in the head right there it’s a peel-back and that’s a penalty also. He was trying to hit him at the waist and ended up in a bad spot and went low.
"I don’t think there was any attempt to injure or things like that. It wasn’t 40 yards behind the play. It was hitting the guy from behind or some of the things that we have seen from some other players recently. You know, going low and hitting guys from behind. The biggest thing was taking some momentum away from us at that point and also taking that score off the board because that would have certainly gone a long way to getting us [out] of the hole we were in early in the game.”
And now, the biggest thing is the hit to Suh's wallet, though it's relatively minimal for a man who has made $51.7 million in his NFL career, not including endorsements.