Ndamukong Suh's aggressive style of play has already lightened his wallet. The Detroit Lions' star defensive tackle our of Nebraska has been fined by the NFL for several violent hits, most notably tooth-loosening blows to Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton during the preseason and Chicago's Jay Cutler in 2010. Amongst players in the league, though, there tends to be a direct relationship between fines levied and respect accrued. But Suh's unsportsmanlike attitude in Detroit's loss to Atlanta may have cost him some respect from fellow NFL players.
Early in the third quarter, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan went down after his ankle was stepped on by teammate Will Svitek. The injury looked severe based on replays and Ryan writhed in pain on the turf. Fortunately, he missed just two plays and was still able to lead the Falcons to a 23-16 win on the road.
After the Falcons handed the Lions their second loss of the season, a few players told Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Suh and defensive lineman Cliff Avril were taunting Ryan while he was in pain.
WATCH VIDEO OF RYAN INJURY BELOW
"I had respect for Suh before the game. But when Matt was on the ground, the things he was saying and the trash he was talking was definitely uncalled for," Falcons center Todd McClure said. "There are certain things you don't do. He said, 'Get the cart' and several other things that I can't repeat"
Star receiver Roddy White chimed in as well.
"I lost a whole lot of respect for 90 [Suh] today, and also 92 [Cliff Avril]," White said. "It was just inappropriate behavior. I mean, 'Get the cart'? Are you serious? Come on. When you compete, you never want to see a guy get hurt."
Suh has not commented on the Falcons players' statements, but the 2010 Defensive Rookie of the Year has previously had to respond to accusations of being a dirty player.
"I've been called a dirty player; now it's nasty," Suh said following Detroit's loss to San Francisco last week. "Who cares? It means nothing to me. You're either playing in the dirt or you're not playing in the dirt. It's pretty much the same thing. I don't really care."
Before the 2011 season began, Suh told the Associated Press that he'll consider himself a dirty player when his mother calls him a dirty player.