Broncos' Aqib Talib and Raiders' Michael Crabtree both suspended two games for SECOND fistfight over a stolen chain
- Sunday's fistfight was a rematch of an incident between the two during the 2016 regular season finale, when Talib ripped off Crabtree's chain for the first time?
- Talib stole Crabtree's chain once again on Sunday ?
- Both Crabtree and Talib can appeal the suspension??
- NFL Vice President of Football Operations Jon Runyan to Crabtree: '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'
- Talib: 'I hope the league sees basically how it started and sees I didn't come out there to fight and wrestle with him'?
Oakland Raiders receiver Michael Crabtree and Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib were suspended two games each without pay on Monday for fist fighting and igniting a brawl at Oakland Coliseum on Sunday.
The fight was a continuation of a dispute that started last season when Talib ripped Crabtree's chain off during the season finale. Crabtree missed the first game between the teams this year but on Sunday, he?ripped off Crabtree's chain once again.
NFL Vice President of Football Operations Jon Runyan announced the suspensions a day after the two players brawled during Oakland's 21-14 victory. Both players can appeal the suspensions.
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Oakland Raiders wide receiver Michael Crabtree, left, fights with Denver Broncos nose tackle Domata Peko, center, and cornerback Aqib Talib, who ripped off Crabtree's chain?
On Monday, Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib (21) and Oakland Raiders wide receiver Michael Crabtree (15) were both suspended two games by the NFL?
Crabtree punched Denver cornerback Chris Harris Jr. while blocking him on the first play of Oakland's second drive. He then aggressively blocked Talib on a running play and drove him to the ground on the Broncos' sideline on the following play, starting the brawl.
'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,' Runyan said in his letter to Crabtree. 'Finally, during the ensuing altercation, you grabbed and twisted that same opponent's facemask and threw a punch at him. Such actions have no place in this game, engender ill will between teams, and lead to further confrontations.'
Talib once again ripped Crabtree's chain off his neck. He also took Crabtree's helmet off and threw it, as well as exchanging punches with Crabtree.
'You deliberately ripped your opponent's chain from his neck just as you did last year when you played against him,' Runyan wrote in his letter to 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. Finally, once you were momentarily separated from your opponent, you again engaged him and threw a punch.'
Last season, Talib described taking Crabtree's chain for the first time.?
'He has just been wearing that gold chain all year; it's just been growing on me,' Talib told reporters at the time. 'I said if he wears that chain in front of me, I'm going to snatch it off. He wore it in front of me, so I had to snatch it off. He started crying to the ref. He didn't say nothing to me though.'
Crabtree did not hesitate to respond after the first incident.?
Denver cornerback Aqib Talib
'I really don't like No. 21, though,' he told repoters on January 1. 'I think he's fake. ... You aren't tough. You aren't defending anybody up like that. You're acting. You're snatching chains up on the field. What do you accomplish? Are you hard? Are you tough? Does that make you tough? You're snatching chains in front of the police and take off running. That was childish man.'
Both players are eligible to return on December 11. Crabtree will miss games against the New York Giants and Kansas City, while Talib will have to sit out against Miami and the New York Jets.
The suspension is costly to the Raiders (5-6), who are one game out of a playoff spot and now will be without a starting receiver for two weeks. Crabtree is tied for the team lead with 42 catches and has 502 yards receiving and a team-high six touchdowns.
One referee was knocked to the ground during the incident?
Raiders coach Jack Del Rio disagreed with the ruling, pointing to a fight earlier this season between Jacksonville cornerback Jalen Ramsey and Cincinnati receiver A.J. Green that led to no suspensions.
'Hard to understand the reasoning for this,' Del Rio wrote on his Twitter account, 'based on most recent ruling w/ altercation.'
The Raiders also could be without their other starting receiver in Amari Cooper, who suffered a concussion and a sprained ankle later in Sunday's game after a hard hit by safety Darian Stewart that drew a penalty.
Talib is perhaps Denver's top cover cornerback. His replacement, rookie Brendan Langley, surrendered a touchdown pass and a critical third-down completion that kept Denver from getting a shot at tying the game.
'I hope the league sees basically how it started and sees I didn't come out there to fight and wrestle with him,' Talib said earlier in the day.
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