By MIKE HOUSEHOLDER
DETROIT — Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh was issued a traffic citation by a police officer who said Suh was driving fast and passing cars from the right lane of a suburban Detroit roadway.
The Lathrup Village officer gave Suh the ticket on Nov. 15 for driving without due care and caution, but Police Chief William Armstrong told The Associated Press on Tuesday he was not sure the citation would hold up.
The chief was awaiting a call back from the city attorney to discuss the case, which he said was “in limbo.”
“From my bird’s eye view, taking a quick glance at it, I’d say the charge doesn’t fit,” Armstrong said after watching video footage of Suh’s driving that day. “Just looking at the tape, Mr. Suh was traveling faster than the cars around him, but I don’t think it was to the extent of driving without due care and caution.”
Suh was not available for comment after practice Tuesday. Coach Jim Schwartz did not appear too concerned about the citation.
“The No. 1 concern is what’s here in the facility, and then on the field on Sundays,” Schwartz said. “We have traffic citations for a lot of different players. Those generally don’t come across my desk and don’t really get on our radar when it comes to stuff like that, as long as people are taking care of what they’re supposed to be taking care of.”
Word of the traffic stop was reported Monday by Detroit-area TV station WJBK. Earlier that day, the NFL announced it wouldn’t suspend Suh for a low blow he delivered to Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub on Thanksgiving. Suh was on his chest after being taken down by an offensive lineman and extended his left foot to hit Schaub below the belt.
Suh, 25, was suspended for two games a year ago after he was ejected for stomping on the right arm of Green Bay offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith, also during a game on Thanksgiving. He has been fined in previous seasons for roughing up quarterbacks.
Suh, whom the Lions selected with the second overall pick out of Nebraska in 2010, has been involved in several traffic incidents over the past year.
He was ticketed for speeding, improperly signaling and not carrying proof of insurance during a March stop in his hometown of Portland, Ore. Police said he was driving a BMW 91 mph in a 55 mph zone.
In December 2011, Suh lost control of a car and crashed into a drinking fountain and tree in Portland. A woman has filed a civil lawsuit seeking $1 million from Suh in the crash.
He also was involved in a traffic accident last month in Dearborn. Police in the Detroit suburb said the accident was minor and fault could not be determined. When Suh played at Nebraska he pleaded guilty to negligent driving and paid a $60 fine after crashing into three parked cars.
Schwartz chuckled when asked if it might benefit Suh to hire a driver.
“Honestly, I think it would be best for every single player in the NFL to have a driver,” Schwartz said. “I don’t know if that’s always feasible and things like that, but I think there are a lot of situations that can be avoided … if you have a driver. And it just takes something else off your radar, and he certainly is in a very fortunate position that he could afford something like that.
“We want all our players to be good citizens off the field, to be safe drivers, to pay parking tickets — all those things. That’s just all part of being a member of society.”