They have not played against each other since 2014, but it’s a good bet Rams defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers won’t be exchanging pleasantries Sunday at the Coliseum.
Four years ago, while playing for the Detroit Lions, Suh was fined $70,000 by the NFL for stepping on Rodgers’ ankle while the quarterback was down during the fourth quarter of the final regular-season game.
Suh had his back to Rodgers after a play; when he took steps backward his foot landed on Rodgers. Suh was initially suspended for one game — which would have been a wild-card game — but during his appeal of the penalty, he reportedly told the NFL that his feet were numb from the cold and he could not tell the difference between Rodgers’ feet and the ground.
An NFL spokesman said at the time that the league did not accept the excuse, but the suspension was overturned and Suh was instead fined.
It was the ninth and final time that Suh was disciplined by the NFL during his five seasons in Detroit. He was not fined during three seasons with the Miami Dolphins before signing with the Rams.
Asked if Rodgers ever responds to him when Suh hits him in games, Suh said the two-time NFL MVP “usually doesn’t talk” to him.
“I don’t know if he likes me,” Suh said. “But I don’t really need a response. My response is when he’s getting up from the ground. That’s all I’m excited for.
“Or giving him a nice [loss] which I’ve done plenty of times in the past. That’s the ultimate goal when going against an elite quarterback like that.”
The Lions were 3-7 against the Packers during Suh’s time in Detroit.
Suh said Rodgers was an elite, very smart quarterback who “tries to keep you always guessing.”
Suh will try to eliminate the guesswork Sunday.
“I’ve gotten plenty of hits on him over my five years [with the Lions],” he said, “and look forward to more this season.”
Rams lineman Aaron Donald, who had four sacks last week against the San Francisco 49ers, played against Rodgers in 2015, when the Rams lost 24-10 at Lambeau Field.
“Never sacked him,” Donald said, adding, “Just a lot of respect for him and, you know, I’m just going to try and do my job and get to him.”
So is rookie lineman John Franklin-Myers.
“Everybody asks, ‘Who do you want to sack in this league?’ ” Franklin-Myers said, “and [Rodgers] is Example A. Tom Brady’s another.
“Guys like that, shoot, you want a sack every play just so you did it, and to help the team win. Selfishly, you want to be able to say, ‘Hey, I sacked Aaron Rodgers.’ ”
Last week, Samson Ebukam forced San Francisco 49ers quarterback C.J. Beathard to fumble after closing in on him from behind.
Ebukam, a second-year pro, said Rodgers’ experience, pocket presence and quick release make him a challenge.
“Some people, they’re like, ‘Yeah, you can tell kids that you sacked a hall of famer,’ ” Ebukam said. “And I’m just like, ‘Yeah, but I’m not thinking about that right now. I’m just trying to get a [win].’”
Packers linebackers Clay Matthews and Nick Perry return to the Coliseum for the first time since they starred for USC.
Matthews, a first-round pick in 2009, has 81½ sacks, including 1½ this season. Perry, a first-round pick in 2012, has 32 sacks, including 1½ this season.
“They’re great edge players,” Rams coach Sean McVay said, adding, “Clay has always been a player that’s had a lot of impact on the games just because of his concept recognition, whether it’s the run, the pass. … Nick is a really powerful player. Can create some push in the pocket… He's got great hands.”