Detroit Lions center Dominic Raiola was suspended one game by the NFL on Monday for stomping on the right leg and ankle of Bears defensive tackle Ego Ferguson on Sunday.
Raiola has three days to appeal his suspension, but he is currently set to miss the Lions’ crucial matchup in Week 17 against Packers for the NFC North title.
According to the NFL, Raiola violated Rule 12, Section 2, Article 12 (b) of the NFL rule book, which prohibits “kicking or kneeing an opponent.” Raiola is widely regarded as one of the league’s dirtiest plays. He has been disciplined five times since 2010, including once earlier this season. He was fined $10,000 for unnecessary roughness in a game against the Patriots on Nov. 23, when he cut and then tried to hit defensive tackle Zach Moore on the final play of a 34-9 Patriots blowout.
The Bears did contact the NFL office about Raiola’s actions. The incident happened in the aftermath of a running play, when Ferguson was face-down on the ground and Raiola stepped over Ferguson, but not before firmly planting his left food on the back of Ferguson right ankle. Ferguson left the game briefly.
Raiola claimed it was an accident and apologized to Ferguson after the game. But Ferguson and his teammates were not happy about the incident — and weren’t buying the notion that it was unavoidable.
“If you watch the film you see what happened,” Ferguson said. “The game is played in between the lines. If you watch, that play is definitely after the [whistle].”
Bears defensive end Jared Allen said Raiola apologized to Ferguson, but wasn’t happy about the incident.
“Yeah, I saw it,” Allen said. “I talked to him about it. He apologized to him at the end. The league will take up for it. There’s no need for that. That’s how guys careers get ended.”