Lions hopeful resfreshed Ndamukong Suh will bring boost
The Detroit Lions are hopeful that Ndamukong Suh, unscathed from a car wreck during his two-game NFL suspension, will return with fresh legs for a three-game sprint to the finish line.
The Lions were 1-1 without Suh and at 8-5 they are currently in position to secure a wild-card berth in the NFC playoffs, but the schedule is challenging starting with a game this Sunday at Oakland. The Lions then host the San Diego Chargers before traveling to Lambeau Field in Week 17 when the Green Bay Packers may be gunning for a 16-0 regular season.
“That's a positive way to look at it,” Lions coach Jim Schwartz said, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “Hopefully, yeah (he’s refreshed). He is healthy. Like I said, it's one thing to get players back from injuries, it's another thing to get players back that haven't been injured.”
Suh, who was sent to time out by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for stomping on a Packers offensive lineman during a Thanksgiving Day game, was reinstated on Monday. He was not permitted at the team’s facility during the suspension.
“It means a lot,” defensive end Cliff Avril said. "Get a little depth at the tackle position and do a little bit more stuff in our pass rush with him being back. It's definitely good to have him back, and especially a fresh version of him at this point of the season is definitely going to be great.”
Hopefully, Suh used the time away to consider how he needs to conduct himself on the field. A future transgression will likely be met with more serious punishment.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune