Michael Crabtree and Aqib Talib Each Suspended Two Games Is A Surprise

Michael Crabtree and Aqib Talib have both been suspended two games by the NFL for fighting in the Broncos-Raiders game this past Sunday. This is a pretty big surprise, given that NFL employee Ian Rapoport had this to say earlier:

Then, a few hours later, Rapoport changed course:

Adam Schefter shared the letters that were sent to the players by the league:

NFL Vice President of Football Operations Jon Runyon issued the two-game suspensions for Aqib Talib and Michael Crabtree.
In his letter to Crabtree notifying him of the suspension, Runyan wrote:

“The series of flagrant violations for which you are being disciplined began with 12:31 remaining in the first quarter – less than three minutes into the game. 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 (Aqib Talib) into the sidelines beyond the yellow media border, 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. 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.”
In his letter to Talib notifying him of the suspension, Runyan wrote:

“The series of flagrant violations for which you are being disciplined began less than three minutes into the game. First, while competing on the field of play, you deliberately ripped your opponent’s chain from his neck just as you did last year when you played against him. 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…Such actions have no place in this game, engender ill will between teams, and lead to further confrontations.”

Crabtree is suspended for games against the New York Giants and Kansas City Chiefs and will be eligible to return to the Raiders’ active roster on Monday, December 11 following the team’s December 10 game against Kansas City.

Talib is suspended for games against the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets and will be eligible to return to the Broncos’ active roster on Monday, December 11 following the team’s December 10 game against the Jets.

This is a bigger blow to the Raiders, who are still on the fringe of the AFC playoff chase.

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