NEW YORK: The National Football League has slapped Michael Crabtree of the Oakland Raiders and Aqib Talib of the Denver Broncos with two-game suspensions for an altercation during a recent game.
NFL vice president Jon Runyan harshly criticized Crabtree in a letter announcing the suspensions for the heated skirmish, which took place during the first quarter of Sunday’s contest at the Oakland Coliseum.
No one was seriously injured, but one game official suffered minor injuries trying to quell the scuffle.
“First, you punched a Broncos opponent Chris Harris in the midsection, resulting in him being removed from the game. Then, on the subsequent play, you blocked a different Broncos opponent (Talib) into the sidelines… well after the play was over.”
“Your actions triggered a melee and endangered various sideline and league personnel, including one of our game officials, who was injured trying to maintain control of the situation.”
“Such actions have no place in this game.”
Crabtree was angry after Talib ripped a chain off his neck for the second time. Talib also broke Crabtree’s chain the previous time they faced each other last season.
At one point on Sunday, Talib removed Crabtree’s helmet and threw it at him.
“You deliberately ripped your opponent’s chain from his neck just as you did last year when you played against him,” Runyan said of Talib.
“Then, when the two of you went to the ground after a subsequent play, you aggressively removed his helmet and threw it in his direction, endangering him and various sideline personnel in the near vicinity.”
Crabtree would miss games against the New York Giants and Kansas City Chiefs over the next two weeks. Talib would be suspended for games against the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets. Both would be eligible to return on December 11.