(Reuters) - Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh has appealed a two-game ban by the National Football League (NFL) for stomping on the arm of an opposing player during last week's Thanksgiving Day game, the league said on Tuesday.
The appeal will be heard and decided by former NFL coach and coach Art Shell, one of two appeals officers for on-field discipline, before this weekend's games, according to NFL spokesman Greg Aiello.
The Lions play the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.
This marks Suh's fifth on-field violation in the past two seasons that has resulted in league discipline and, if it stands, will keep the reigning defensive rookie of the year from participating in practices or team activities.
Suh was hit with a personal foul and ejected from a game against the Green Bay Packers last Thursday for stomping on the arm of Evan Dietrich-Smith after they had become entangled on a play.
Unless he wins the appeal, the second pick in the 2010 NFL Draft will also forfeit $165,000 in pay and cannot rejoin the Lions (7-4) until December 12 following games against the Saints and Minnesota Vikings.
The Lions, who said last week that Suh's conduct during the Packers game was "unacceptable and failed to meet the level of sportsmanship we expect from our players," said they respected the NFL's decision.
"We were formally informed this morning of the league's decision to suspend Ndamukong Suh for two games. We respect the process the league undertook in order to arrive at this decision," the Lions said in a statement.
Suh requested a meeting with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell earlier this season to discuss his play after drawing several penalties and to get a better understanding of the rules. He also reportedly called Goodell Sunday to apologize for his actions last week.
The 24-year-old said after the Packers game that he had done nothing wrong but followed that with an apology on his Facebook page a day later.
Suh has been fined three times for roughing up quarterbacks in under a year, the latest coming in August when he grabbed Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton and threw him to the ground after he had gotten rid of the ball in the preseason.
He was also fined last season for using an apposing player to gain leverage in an attempt to block a field goal.
(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina; Editing by Frank Pingue)