GREEN BAY – Evan Dietrich-Smith never wanted to make a big deal about it in the first place, so the Green Bay Packers backup guard was perfectly fine with accepting Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh’s apology and moving on.
Dietrich-Smith, who was on the receiving end of Suh’s Thanksgiving Day stomp at Ford Field, said Wednesday in advance of the teams’ Sunday rematch in the regular-season finale that he’s moved on from the controversy and was fine with Suh’s apology a few days after the incident.
“He called me a couple days after everything happened, and he’s cool, he apologized, and there’s no hard feelings and that’s pretty much it,” said Dietrich-Smith, who could start Sunday at left guard if usual left guard T.J. Lang again has to shift to right tackle to replace an injured Bryan Bulaga. “He’s a good football player, stuff happens, and that’s about it.
“He called me a couple days after the whole thing happened and we talked. He said, ‘Sorry,’ I said, ‘No big deal,’ and that was about that.”
Suh was suspended for two games by the NFL for the incident, which began with him banging Dietrich-Smith’s head against the turf before trying to stomp on his arm.
Asked if he expected any more trouble Sunday, Dietrich-Smith replied: “I think we’ve all moved past it. It’s a big learning experience for everybody. I think everyone in the league can take note of everything that happened and I think every player is going to take a step forward to move past that kind of stuff.
“It’s football. It’s an emotional game. Sometimes you get carried away and you learn from those kinds of things, and that’s about it.”
For his part, Suh wouldn’t tell Detroit-area reporters if he had apologized to Dietrich-Smith, saying only on Wednesday that he also has moved on from the incident, which not only got him ejected from the game and suspended but also might have cost him a Pro Bowl berth. Selected as a rookie last year, he is a first alternate this year, perhaps because opposing teams refused to vote for him because they consider him a dirty player.
"I haven't thought about it," Suh told Detroit reporters, when asked if he would talk to Dietrich-Smith on Sunday. "Like I said, my focus is on the guy who is in front of me. So if he's in front of me, obviously I'll try to go against him, beat him, hopefully get some sacks.
"As far as I know (Dietrich-Smith) is on the left side, I'm on the right side. I go against the right guard. If I happen to switch, there's no hard feelings over there."
Asked if he thought his on-field behavior hurt him in the Pro Bowl balloting, Suh replied: “I have no clue. It's not at my debate, or anything of that sort. ... It just wasn't my year."
Return to: Jason Wilde Blog
There are no games scheduled for today.