Sports

Detroit Lions' Ndamukong Suh fined $100,000

Detroit defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh was fined $100,000 by the NFL for his illegal low block on Minnesota center John Sullivan in the Lions' season-opening victory Sunday. Suh hit Sullivan during an interception return by Detroit linebacker DeAndre Levy, and the penalty negated what would have been a touchdown.

Suh was not in the locker room at Detroit's practice facility when it was open to reporters Tuesday.

Suh said Sunday he wasn't going after Sullivan's knees, adding that the two had discussed the play at halftime. Detroit players said Suh apologized to the team Tuesday.

"He just basically said that he can't make those types of mistakes — he can't put us in a position where we've got to battle back from mistakes like that," wide receiver Nate Burleson said. "He also said, with him having a target, and people looking for him, they're looking at us in the same light. So as a team we've got to understand that the microscope is on us."

It's believed to be the largest fine for an NFL player for an on-field violation, although suspensions without pay can result in bigger financial hits. The NFL fined Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison $75,000 for a 2010 hit on Cleveland wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi, although that was later reduced to $50,000.

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The New England Patriots placed running back Shane Vereen on injured reserve with a designation to return. The move means Vereen must miss eight weeks before he is eligible to play in a game. He broke his left wrist during Sunday's 23-21 win over the Buffalo Bills, when he rushed for 101 yards. ... The New York Giants signed running back Brandon Jacobs, the franchise leaders with 56 rushing touchdowns, after the team ran for only 50 yards in the season-opening loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

ETC: Italy, Netherlands qualify for World Cup

Italy and the Netherlands became the first European teams to qualify for next year's World Cup.

Giorgio Chiellini scored in the 51st minute and Mario Balotelli converted a penalty kick in the 54th, giving Italy a 2-1 come-from-behind win over the Czech Republic at Turin. Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon made his 136th international appearance, matching Fabio Cannavaro's Italian record. Italy, a four-time world champion, clinched first in Group B and will be appearing in soccer's top tournament for the 14th straight time.

Robin Van Persie's goals in the 49th and 53rd minutes lifted the Netherlands to a 2-0 win at Andorra. The Dutch, three-time World Cup runners-up, won Group D.

The newcomers joined host Brazil and Asian nations Australia, Iran, Japan and South Korea in the 32-team field for the World Cup, which kicks off June 12.

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NASCAR driver Clint Bowyer denied he spun out intentionally to help teammate Martin Truex Jr. gain a berth in the Chase for the Cup title playoff.

NASCAR heavily penalized Bowyer, Truex, Brian Vickers and their Michael Waltrip Racing team for various actions aimed at helping Truex at Richmond, Va. The penalties resulted in Truex being dropped from the Chase and Ryan Newman being added to the 12-driver field.

— Jim Peltz

Brazil's Felipe Massa said he plans to leave Ferrari's Formula One team after this season. The announcement was not unexpected. Rumors had swirled that Massa, who has struggled in recent years, and Ferrari would part ways when the season ended.

The 32-year-old Massa, who joined Ferrari in 2006, has 11 wins in 185 career starts. But he hasn't won a Grand Prix since 2006, when Massa collected six victories and finished third in the championship standings.

— Jim Peltz

Tony Kanaan wants to stay in IndyCar, but if he doesn't have a ride, the Indianapolis 500 champion said he'll look elsewhere for a place to race, even if that means moving to NASCAR.

Kanaan, whose contract with KV Racing ends this year, visited Joe Gibbs Racing last week.

"I can tell you that I'm a free agent so I'm looking everywhere," he said Tuesday.

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The agent for Luol Deng said that the two-time All-Star forward would "certainly visit free agency" next summer after being informed by Chicago Bulls management that contract extension talks would be tabled until after the 2013-14 season.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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