Suh's fine came for lesser hit on Weeden

October, 16, 2013
10/16/13
9:10
PM ET
The Cleveland Browns probably were not surprised that Ndamukong Suh was fined $31,500 for his hit on Brandon Weeden in the Detroit Lions’ win over the Browns on Sunday.

But they’re probably shocked Suh was fined for hitting Weeden as he threw a pass in the first quarter.

Weeden
Suh
Had Suh been fined for a tackle when Weeden was beginning to escape the pocket midway through the third quarter, that would have been a different matter. Weeden dropped back to throw, saw no one open and lumbered out of the pocket. He got to the line of scrimmage and was hit from the side by Suh, who swung his right arm out and appeared to catch Weeden in the jaw. For good measure, Suh continued the tackle and flung Weeden off him.

Weeden sat on the field for a moment, rubbing his jaw. He appeared to look at the ref. And he may have been stunned -- it would be surprising if he was not by the blow to the jaw.

No flag was thrown, and the officials did nothing.

But it looked like a hit to the head of a quarterback with an old-fashioned clothesline tackle. Football is a fast game played by fast men, so it may have just been part of the tackle and nothing extra. But intentional or not, Suh appeared to hit Weeden in the jaw.

The other hit is the one that drew the fine. That came after Weeden threw an incomplete pass in the first quarter. Suh lowered his head and hit Weeden in the chest with his helmet.

The hit was not late and did not look dirty, live or on tape, but vice president of officials Dean Blandino was heard on NFLEvolution.com, one of the league's official websites, saying the play should be marked for further review. In an interview on the NFL Network's "NFL Total Access," Blandino explained, "I felt that [Suh] did make contact with the forehead/'hairline' ... not to the head or neck, but the rule does prohibit that contact to the body."

Evidently, any time Suh makes contact with his helmet, no matter where, the league will take notice.

If the Browns were guessing, they would probably guess the tackle after the scramble was more deserving of the fine.

Pat McManamon

ESPN Cleveland Browns reporter

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