Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 12/14/11
ALLEN PARK, Mich. Ndamukong Suh isn't sharing with the public any thoughts he might have of remorse or contrition about the stomping incident on Thanksgiving Day that caused the NFL to suspend him for two games. No public apologies appear to be forthcoming, either. Suh avoided any direct answers to the stomping incident in a Wednesday news conference after his first practice with the Lions since the suspension for stomping on Packers offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith. Suh's answers to the first three questions set the tone in the session that lasted 5 minutes and 43 seconds. How has he been over the past couple of weeks? "It's been good," Suh replied. "I'm looking forward to playing Oakland and focusing on them." Any thoughts about the whole incident, and how things unfolded? "It is what it is," he said. "Like I said, I'm look forward to playing against Oakland and getting back on the field." What had he learned about the whole experience? "Like I said, I'm looking forward to getting back on the football field." Suh has been one of the NFL's most dominant defensives tackles in his two seasons with the Lions and sometimes crossed the line with overly aggressive play that led to three separate fines totaling 42,500. Suh's suspension was without pay, costing him 164,000 in salary at the rate of 82,000 per week on a 17-week pay schedule. On Wednesday, he put up a stony wall of resistance that deflected away any questions about the incident, including whether he should apologize to Dietrich-Smith. Starting with Sunday's game at Oakland, the Lions can only hope that the Pro Bowl defensive tackle is as adept at warding off opposing blockers. Any direct questions related to the Thanksgiving Day incident evoked answers of "getting ready for Oakland," and "next question." Suh also would not answer any questions about an automobile accident he was involved in. It occurred in his hometown of Portland, Ore., shortly after the stomping incident. Suh said he continued his workout regimen while under suspension and that he watched the two games the Lions played without him Sunday's 34-28 win over the Vikings and a 31-17 loss to New Orleans the previous week. "My teammates know they're going to get everything out of me," Suh said. "I don't think that's a question in their mind." Suh met with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell at his office in New York on Nov. 2 to get guidelines on playing within the rules. Suh also called Goodell to apologize personally three days after stomping on Dietrich-Smith. He has not spoken to Goodell since, Suh said. "I haven't had an opportunity to talk to him since the Sunday after the incident," Suh said. "We have a pretty good relationship. I think it still stands that way. "I had a good talk with him. Maybe we'll cross paths soon." Goodell held a fan-forum event at Ford Field before Sunday's Lions-Vikings game and spoke highly of Suh. "I think he's great young man," Goodell said after the fan-form event. "He's going to be a great player in the league. I think he wants to do the right thing. "I'm going to try to support that in every way I can, to get him in that position. I think he's committed to doing that." Suh said Wednesday that he does not expect to have any trouble playing within the rules. "I think I can pretty much stay with that, playing within the rules and continuing to play between the whistles," Suh said. Suh was welcomed back by his teammates, coaches and the front office. He reported to the team's headquarters and training facility early Monday, the day he was reinstated. Suh looked the same as ever in practice Wednesday, Schwartz said. "About the same as he looked before he left," Schwartz said. "He's obviously healthy, and we need all the healthy players we can get, particularly this last stretch. "He's always been anxious to get out and prove himself. He's always been a guy who works hard and practiced hard and prepares well." Suh was asked about the likelihood that he will be under more scrutiny than ever for the rest of the season. "I think every eye, since I been in this game of football coming to the NFL has been on me," Suh said. Suh's return received a positive reaction from teammates on both sides of the ball. "Just having him back is great for our team," quarterback Matthew Stafford said. "We know he's a great player for us and makes an impact on the field." Rookie defensive tackle Nick Fairley compared Suh's return to coming back from vacation. "He came home and knocked on the door," Fairley said. Defensive end Cliff Avril is close to Suh and expects him to make the defensive line stronger. The unit was hit by injuries to Fairley and backup end Lawrence Jackson before Suh was suspended. "To have a Suh on your team, and a healthy Suh, is definitely better," Avril said. "He's fired up. He's ready to go." Injury update The Lions defense is getting players back for the Oakland game. Cornerback Chris Houston, who missed the last two games because of a knee injury, and Fairley both practiced Wednesday. Fairley did not play against the Vikings after reinjuring his left foot in the previous game against New Orleans. Running back Kevin Smith was at practice and took part in some individual drills in the portion of practice that was open to the media. Smith did not play against the Vikings because of an ankle injury. Three full-time starters on defense did not practice linebacker Justin Durant (hamstring), cornerback Eric Wright (hamstring) and safety Louis Delmas (knee).
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