The NFL’s two-game suspension of Detroit Lions running back Mikel Leshoure was, indeed, the right call. The troubled second-year Lions standout-in-the-making had two marijuana-related arrests this offseason, which were then followed by teammate Nick Fairley‘s DUI over Memorial Day Weekend.
Leshoure’s suspension isn’t too extreme. Two games without pay won’t dent his pocketbook too much. He’s allowed to take part in offseason team drills and workouts, with reinstatement to the roster coming Sept. 17. Live and learn, that should be the lesson Leshoure takes from all of this.
However, now that Leshoure’s fate is sealed, his punishment made public, thoughts of what the NFL will do to Fairley come to mind. Keep in mind, like Leshoure, Fairley has had issues with marijuana. And don’t forget he reportedly drove over 100 mph while attempting to elude police in Alabama over Memorial Day Weekend, operating his vehicle with an open container of alcohol in his presence. He was also ticketed for no proof of insurance.
I can’t help but think that the NFL will come down swiftly on Fairley, possibly giving him a four-game suspension. After all, his actions were significantly worse than Leshoure’s. Simple marijuana possession seems rather innocent when compared to putting the lives of police officers and drivers — not to mention his own — in danger while driving intoxicated. And, of course, the NFL will probably take into account Fairley’s already cloudy history, possibly revisiting his marijuana issues when deciding the course of action.
Or, the two incidents could be dealt with separately.
Fairley and Leshoure both have the potential to be key components in the new-look Lions’ lineup that already features arguably the most exciting quarterback-receiver combo in Matt Stafford and Calvin Johnson. With Leshoure’s power running style, the Lions could develop into a respectable threat on the ground.
And with Fairley’s development on defense, the Lions’ line would be all the more feared. Imagine an on-track Fairley with a focused, dominating Ndamukong Suh. It would be hard to imagine a team with two tackles as talented as they are. That combination alone could result in 20 or more sacks — it should, at least.
A two-game suspension for two marijuana-related charges is just, fair and in order when looking at Leshoure’s case. However, Fairley deserves far more — double — for his irresponsible actions.