Matthew Stafford: 'We understand Ndamukong Suh absence'

Quarterback Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions looks for a pass during the first half against the Cleveland Browns of a preseason at FirstEnergy Stadium on August 15, 2013
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Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford insists that the team "understand" Ndamukong Suh's reasons for not participating in voluntary team workouts.

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has insisted that the team "understand" Ndamukong Suh's decision not to participate in voluntary workouts this week.

Suh is currently in the final year of his rookie contract and there were some suggestions that his absence from the sessions were partly down to negotiations for a new deal.

However, Stafford revealed that the three-time Pro Bowler has his own personal trainers that he likes to work with and was confident that his absence from the team session would not affect his fitness or ability.

"He's a guy that has trainers that he likes to work with, and he's done it sometimes in the past and we understand it," Stafford told reporters.

"The one thing we know is when he shows up, he's going to be in great shape and he's going to be playing great football and we'll be happy to have him."

New Lions head coach Jim Caldwell also played down Suh's absence, claiming that he knew about the 27-year-old's intention not to turn up to the workouts.

Ndamukong Suh #90 of the Detroit Lions reacts after a fourth quarter tackle while playing the Chicago Bears at Ford Field on December 30, 2012
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