The NFL rarely suspends players if they were ejected from a game. Cincinnati Bengals receiver A.J. Green threw multiple punches at Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey earlier this season and the NFL didn’t suspend him.
So the league made quite a statement on Monday night when it suspended Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib and Oakland Raiders receiver Michael Crabtree for two games each for their roles in a brawl on Sunday afternoon.
The fight started when Crabtree was blocking Talib. Talib pulled off Crabtree’s chain, like he did in a game last season, and that seemed to set Crabtree off. Crabtree blocked Talib well out of bounds, drove him into the ground and that started a brawl that involved both teams. Talib and Crabtree separated themselves from the scrum, and when they got to midfield they started throwing more punches. It was a pretty ugly fight, and got way further out of hand than most football fights.
In a letter to Crabtree, the NFL said in addition to everything else that happened it was suspending him because he punched Broncos cornerback Chris Harris right before the Talib incident, and a game official was injured trying to break up the fight with Crabtree. In a letter to Talib, the NFL referenced Talib snatching Crabtree’s chain off his neck for a second time.
Michael Crabtree & Aqib Talib suspended 2 games each for violations of unsportsmanlike conduct & unnecessary roughness rules pic.twitter.com/PzbWuvXD5I
— Michael Signora (@NFLfootballinfo) November 28, 2017
Raiders coach Jack Del Rio was confused, and referenced the Green-Ramsey fight.
Hard to understand the reasoning for this judgement based on most recent ruling w/ altercation see WR Cin and DB Jax = 0 games suspended https://t.co/jH9cZRecPn
— Jack Del Rio (@coachdelrio) November 28, 2017
The NFL usually counts the game a player was ejected from as part of its punishment. Talib and Crabtree were ejected less than four minutes into Sunday’s game. Given the suspension that followed, the league was pretty angry at what went down in Oakland.
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