NFL Fines Lions' Ndamukong Suh $15,000 For Hit On Bears' Jay Cutler

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Lions' Ndamukong Suh Fined $15,000 For Hit On Bears' Jay Cutler

Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz felt that defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh shouldn’t have been penalized for his hit on Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler last Sunday. Suh was flagged for unnecessary roughness, a penalty that gave the Bears a first-and-goal at the seven-yard line, helping them toward a game-winning touchdown.

Suh said on Tuesday that he hit Cutler “on top of the numbers on his back,” but acknowledged that Ed Hochuli called what he thought he saw on the play.

Despite replays supporting Suh’s contention, the NFL agreed rather authoritatively with Hochuli’s call and fined Suh $15,000 on Wednesday for his “unnecessary non-football act.” Suh said he would appeal the fine, however.

From the Detroit Free Press:

“I do intend to appeal it and, to be honest with you, my mentality right now is I owe it to my teammates, the fans and the former players and my coaches to play as hard as I can,” Suh said [Wednesday]. “At that particular point in time and throughout that game, all I was trying to do was play as hard as I can. As Cutler was trying to make a play, I was trying to make a play.”

Fanhouse’s Michael David Smith asks a pertinent question: If replays showed Suh didn’t level Cutler with a dirty hit, why did the league still fine him harshly? Smith’s theory is that it’s all about perception. Suh’s hit looked dirty, so maybe this was a warning to him to cool it (also factoring in his hit on the BrownsJake Delhomme during the preseason, for which he was fined $7,500).

Does this mean Suh needs to change the way he plays? Schwartz said he wasn’t sure what he should tell Suh to do in such a situation.

“I think that there’s some things you can learn from, and I think Suh learned a lot from the preseason play on Jake Delhomme,” Schwartz said. “That was a play that happened on his college tape about three or four times, him doing that to quarterbacks, and he never got penalized for it in college and got penalized for it in the preseason and learned how NFL officials are going to protect the quarterbacks. This is a little different situation.”

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VIDEO: Lions Ndamukong Suh's Personal Foul Penalty On Jay Cutler Has Jim Schwartz Confused

Ndamukong Suh, defensive tackle for the Detroit Lions, has been known to be a bit rough when it comes to sacking the opponents quarterback, but Lions head coach Jim Schwartz doesn’t believe Suh should have been flagged for his hit on Jay Cutler over the weekend.

“It’s been reported that the flag was thrown because Cutler was hit in the back of the head when he was in the process of going down. I think it’s fairly obvious that neither of those ended up being correct,” Schwartz during a press conference Monday. " I know he wasn’t hit in the head and I know he wasn’t going down, I know that for sure. There are a lot of things that somebody thinks they see on the field, they think he stepped out of bounds but he really didn’t, or they think it was a facemask and it really wasn’t. That stuff occurs, it happens in the game."

Looking at the video, shown below, it seems that Schwartz is right to be confused.

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Lions Vs. Bears: Jay Cutler's 4th Quarter Touchdown Gives Chicago 24-20 Win

Detroit, MI (Sports Network) - Brandon Manumaleuna caught the game-winning touchdown pass in the fourth quarter as the Chicago Bears rallied for a 24-20 win over the Detroit Lions at Ford Field.

Jay Cutler went 21-for-26 with 234 yards and one touchdown while Matt Forte and Chester Taylor each ran for a score for the Bears (9-3), who have taken five straight and will remain a game ahead of Green Bay for the top spot in the NFC North as the Packers are currently dominating San Francisco late in the fourth.

Earl Bennett caught seven passes for 104 yards as Chicago improved to 5-1 on the road this season.

Drew Stanton, making the start courtesy of injuries to Matthew Stafford and Shaun Hill, had 178 yards and a score on 16-of-24 passing for the Lions (2-10), who have dropped five straight. Calvin Johnson caught three passes for 66 yards and a score in the loss.

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Lions Vs. Bears: Injury Report

The injury report for Sunday's Lions-Bears game is flat out depressing to look at. The Bears have only one player on their entire injury report. The Lions, on the other hand, are down two quarterbacks and starting defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch is doubtful to play on Sunday. Starting right tackle Gosder Cherilus is questionable, so it's no guarantee he will play as well. Needless to say, the Lions are a banged up football team, whereas the Bears are very healthy.

Detroit Lions

QB Shaun Hill (Right Finger) - Out

QB Matthew Stafford (Right Shoulder) - Out

RB Jahvid Best (Toe) - Probable

WR Nate Burleson (Hamstring) - Probable

TE Tony Scheffler (Rib) - Probable

OT Gosder Cherilus (Knee) - Questionable

DE Kyle Vanden Bosch (Neck) - Doubtful

DE Cliff Avril (Quadricep) - Probable

DT Corey Williams (Shoulder) - Probable

LB DeAndre Levy (Groin) - Probable

Chicago Bears

LB Pisa Tinoisamoa (Knee) - Out

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Lions Vs. Bears: Detroit Reaches Sellout

The Lions announced earlier today that they reached a sellout for Sunday's game against the Bears. It is their fifth sellout of the season, leaving the Redskins game as the only one that has been blacked out locally so far this season.

With Sunday's game being sold out, 2010 will have the most sellouts in a season since 2007 for the Lions. In 2007, the Lions sold out all eight home games, but in recent years that number had dropped drastically. This year, however, the number of sold out games is back on the up and up.

After Sunday the Lions will have two home games left: one next week against the Packers and one in the final week of the season against Minnesota. There is a good chance both of those games could be sellouts. There are no guarantees obviously, but I'm sure the Lions would be ecstatic with only having one game blacked out this year given their bad record and the state of the local economy.

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Drew Stanton Will Start Sunday; Zac Robinson Will Back Him Up

Per 97.1 The Ticket, Drew Stanton has been named the starter for Sunday’s game against the Bears, further corroborating the report that Shaun Hill might be done for the season.

Zac Robinson will be Stanton’s back up and, according to Jim Schwartz, the offense will not change under Stanton.

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Report: Shaun Hill Out For Season With Broken Finger

Yeah, so, the quarterback situation I touched on in the update I posted earlier seems to have gotten a little murkier.

Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press is now reporting that Shaun Hill might be done for the season:

The Detroit Lions are down to their third option at quarterback for the foreseeable future.

Shaun Hill broke the index finger on his throwing hand in the first half of last week’s loss to the Patriots and could miss the remainder of the season, a person familiar with the situation said.  

Considering the team worked out a pair of former Lions QBs, J.T. O'Sullivan and Josh McCown, on Monday, this definitely seems very believable.

If Drew Stanton is indeed the starter on Sunday against the Bears -- and he's the only remaining healthy QB that fully knows the offense at this point -- he'll have his best opportunity to prove his worth in the NFL. Stanton, who will be a free agent at the end of the season, has been given virtually zero chances of proving himself despite the fact there has been plenty of quarterback controversies and injuries during his tenure with the Lions. It'd also be pretty fitting if the first of what could ultimately be five very telling starts for Stanton comes against Rod Marinelli and Mike Martz, the two jackals who never really gave Stanton a fair chance to develop on the field.

I'm sure Schwartz will provide all the answers we're looking for tomorrow. Heh.

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