Oakland Raiders wide receiver Michael Crabtree and Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib had their two-game suspensions reduced to one game, the league announced on Tuesday.
Both players had their appeals heard Tuesday. James Thrash was the appeals officer for Talib and Derrick Brooks heard Crabtree’s case, two days after both players were ejected for fighting.
Talib can return to the field for the Denver Broncos’ Week 14 game against the New York Jets. Crabtree will be eligible to return for the Oakland Raiders’ Week 14 game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Both can return to their teams on Dec. 4.
In his letter to Talib on Monday, NFL vice president of operations Jon Runyan referenced Talib ripping a chain off Crabtree’s neck, “aggressively” removing Crabtree’s helmet and throwing a punch as well the two players “reigniting” the fight for a second confrontation. Runyan added “such actions have no place in this game, engender ill will between teams, and lead to further confrontations.”
The fight during Oakland’s 21-14 win 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 went after Talib early Sunday.
On the second play of Oakland’s second drive, Crabtree aggressively blocked Talib on a running play and drove him to the ground on the Broncos sideline, setting off the brawl. Talib ripped Crabtree’s chain off again.
Talib and Crabtree then exchanged shoves before they threw punches at each other. Talib said Monday that Crabtree threw a punch at him first. As he did in a game last season, Talib had ripped a necklace off Crabtree before the fight.
Because of the previous incident, Crabtree had reportedly taped the chain to his body before the game, but Talib still got it.
Several other players from both teams joined in along the Broncos’ sideline. Talib eventually got ahold of Crabtree’s helmet, pulling it out of a crowd, and he tossed it toward the stands.
Talib, Crabtree and Raiders guard Gabe Jackson were ejected with 11 minutes, 47 seconds left in the first quarter. Talib and Crabtree were ejected for fighting, and Jackson was ejected for making contact with an official.