ALLEN PARK >> Lions center Dominic Raiola has been suspended for one game by the NFL for stepping on Bears Ego Ferguson.
Raiola will miss Sunday’s game at the Green Bay Packers that will determine the winner of the NFC North.
He will have an opportunity to appeal with an immediate answer.
Raiola will not be allowed to attend team meetings and functions until he is reinstated on Dec. 29. He also can not attend or watch practices; appear at the club’s facility; attend press conferences; appear at the team’s Dec. 28 game, or have contact with any club personnel except to arrange off-site medical treatment.
Earlier on Monday, coach Jim Caldwell said that he believes Raiola when he said stepping on Bears’ Ego Ferguson was inadvertent in Sunday’s win at Chicago.
The Detroit Lions coach addressed the situation in his press conference.
“Obviously I took a good look at it both the coach’s copy and also the television copy as well. I believe what Dom told me that it was inadvertent, but I can see why —obviously it’s being reviewed by the league and everybody is taking a good look at it — you can also see the other side as well,’’ Caldwell said.
Raiola told reporters after the game that he had apologized to Ferguson at the end of the game, told him it was unintentional and the two shook hands.
Ferguson misses a few snaps but was able to complete the game.
No penalty was called on the play.
The suspension will break a string of 99 straight starts for Raiola
who was fined $10,000 after the New England game on Nov. 23 for unnecessary roughness for striking defensive lineman Zach Moore in the back of the head.
Caldwell said they will adjust in case of a suspension.
“Just like we’ve done the rest of the year, we’ve had significant injuries, significant setbacks and the guys find a way,’’ Caldwell said.
Rookie Travis Swanson, who started four games at right guard when Larry Warford was injured, could fill in for the 35-year-old Raiola.
“We have options, (Swanson is) one of those options,’’ Caldwell said. “He’s a guy that’s played, understands it, he’s got some snaps under his belt.’’
Another possibility would be Rodney Austin who played in one game in 2013. He was brought up from the practice squad on Nov. 25.
“It’s one of those things where obviously you can’t replace experience but nevertheless youth and vitality will be able to offset some of that — you certainly can’t offset all of that,’’ Caldwell said.
Raiola has started 203 games for the Lions.