Aqib Talib and Michael Crabtree were both ejected from Sunday’s Broncos vs. Raiders game. Both players were facing 2-game suspensions for setting off a brawl between the two teams. Those suspensions were reduced to one game each on appeal, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
NFL vice president Jon Runyan explained the suspensions in letters to both players that were released by the league:
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
What started this beef between Talib and Crabtree? This wasn’t the first incident between Talib and Crabtree. It dates back to last season, when Talib snatched the gold chain right off Crabtree’s neck during a game. No discipline was handed down for that incident. Crabtree kept his cool and there were no punches thrown. But this time was a different story.
What happened between Talib and Crabtree on Sunday? The bad blood from last year’s chain-breaking incident lingered. Crabtree was blocking Talib on a play, and Talib pulled off a repeat performance, snatching Crabtree’s chain off his neck again. Crabtree even taped his chain to his neck to prevent this from happening, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. It didn’t matter.
Crabtree kept blocking Talib right out of bounds. Punches were thrown, and players from both teams jumped in. It turned into a full-on brawl.
Both Crabtree and Talib were ejected from the game. Talib had to walk right through the Raiders’ bench to get to the locker room. It looked like he still had some things to say to Raiders staff on the sideline. But Marshawn Lynch stepped in and escorted Talib on his way to avoid any further conflict.
Why’d they both get suspended? Players rarely get suspended when they’ve also been ejected from a game. But that’s not a hard and fast rule. Case in point: Marshawn Lynch was ejected and then suspended one game for putting his hands on an official in Week 7.
In this case, both players were suspended because they each had a chance to defuse the situation before it escalated to a brawl. They did not. The initial fight between the two of them wound down, and they both threw punches after that. That’s why they’ll both be sidelined as a result.
What’s next: Both players will sit out in Week 13. For Talib, that means he’ll miss a game against the Dolphins. The Raiders would be without Crabtree against the Giants.