In a tweet sent out by NFL Vice President of Football Communications, Michael Signora, the suspensions given to Oakland Raiders wide receiver Michael Crabtree and Denver Broncos Aqib Talib have been reduced from two games to one. The NFL announced the reduction after an appeal was filed by Derrick Brooks and James Thrash, who are the appeals officers representing both players. Crabtree and Talib had a bench clearing brawl on the sidelines just three minutes into the AFC west matchup last Sunday. Both were ejected from the game and received an initial suspension of two games by the league.
Oakland guard Gabe Jackson was also ejected after contacting an official. The Raiders eventually held on to win after a game clinching conversion by wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson after the Broncos were rallying in the fourth quarter.
Michael Crabtree, Aqib Talib Suspension Reduced
Crabtree and Talib have had bad blood since the infamous chain snatching incident last year in Oakland, where Talib snatched Crabtree’s gold chain from his neck. The building tension has stirred up a highly anticipated rematch of the wide receiver and cornerback that was cut short because of the brawl. Fans have been waiting for the two dynamic players to face off, knowing that the matchup would be physical, but no one would guess that Crabtree and Talib would not last five minutes into the contest.
Broncos players claimed that Crabtree threw a sucker punch the play before the fight broke out. With the already long-standing rivalry between Oakland and Denver, this adds more fuel to the fire as these are two premier players for both teams.
The reduction of Crabtree’s suspension will help the Raiders immensely, as they face the Kansas City Chiefs a week after their game with the struggling New York Giants. If the Raiders can get past the Giants, the following Chiefs matchup can be a playoff impacting game for both teams.
The Raiders will need all the help they can get against the first place Chiefs. Kansas City has started off the season strong at 5-0 including wins against the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles, who have both been impressive as of late. The second half of the season has not been kind to the Chiefs as they have lost five of the last six games, with their only win in the second half of the season coming against Denver. Oakland sees the importance of this game and will need to utilize all of Derek Carr’s weapons to capture a second win against their division counterparts.
The Broncos on the other hand, will have an easier path for the next two games with or without Talib. They face ACF East teams Miami Dolphins and New York Jets, who have both struggled to put points up through the air this year. The last place Broncos will need just about everything to go right for the last five games to make playoffs. With only three wins, they have had a disappointing season to say the least. While still struggling to maintain their dominance since the retirement of Peyton Manning, they will rely heavily on defensive stars such as Talib to carry them into the playoffs.