NFL Issues Punishments To Aqib Talib, Michael Crabtree After Wild Brawl

Posted November 30, 2017

Oakland Raiders wide receiver Michael Crabtree is still upset over his suspension from his fight with Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib last Sunday and told Vic Tafur of The Athletic that the tussle was not premeditated.

National Football League 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. The other three receivers on the roster - Patterson, Holton and Seth Roberts - have combined for just 46 catches. If it doesn't, Derek Carr would be without a primary weapon for two straight weeks when the Raiders need every threat possible to stay in the playoff race.

At the heart of the bad blood are two gold chains that Talib ripped off Crabtree's chest - once yesterday, and once last season in Denver. After Crabtree threw a punch at Talib, several Raiders and Broncos players started going at it on the sideline. Crabtree missed the first game between the teams this year but didn't wait long to seek revenge. Talib ripped Crabtree's chain off again, and Crabtree carried his block well out of bounds. When everyone rose, the fight carried into the near end zone.

This beef between Talib and Crabtree goes back to last season. Finally, during the ensuing altercation, you grabbed and twisted that same opponent's facemask and threw a punch at him ... At the Coliseum, the only way to get into the tunnel is through the home sideline.

Both players were ejected from the game.

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According to, Aqib Talib clarified that he was not defending his teammate Chris Harris, who Crabtree punched in a previous play, but was instead retaliating for Crabtree punching him, as well. The NFL evidently reviewed that play, too, since Runyan referenced it in his letter to Crabtree.

"The series of flagrant violations for which you are being disciplined began less than three minutes into the game".

"I am just playing ball, man. ESPN said that I taped the chain to myself before the game because I was anxious about it". Cincinnati Bengals receiver A.J. Green threw multiple punches at Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey earlier this season and the National Football League didn't suspend him.

Despite the history between the players, Del Rio said he didn't address the situation before the game with Crabtree: "We were all about finding a way to beat the Broncos". And Talib's calls him out because he "aggressively removed (Crabtree's) helmet and threw it in his direction, endangering him and various sideline personnel in the near vicinity".