Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib and Oakland Raiders wide receiver Michael Crabtree saw their two-game suspensions reduced by half on Tuesday.
Just 24 hours after Talib and Crabtree were informed by the NFL that they’d been suspended for their roles in a melee in Sunday’s game in Oakland, the league informed the players their ban had been halved after each appealed.
Talib, among not only the Broncos top cornerbacks but also the entire league, will be out effective immediately and will not be able to participate in team activities until after Sunday’s road matchup with the Miami Dolphins.
In a letter to Talib on Monday, NFL Vice President of Football Operations Jon Runyan outlined the reasoning for the league’s original discipline, which included the cornerback ripping the chain out from Crabtree’s pads for the second time in less than a year.
In the letter to Talib, Runyan said the Broncos cornerback “deliberately ripped your opponent’s chain from his neck just as you did last year when you played against him.”
Talib pulled a similar move on Crabtree in the Broncos 2016 season finale at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in January.
Runyan also said Talib “aggressively removed” Crabtree’s helmet, endangering him and sideline personnel, and threw a punch at the wide receiver after being “momentarily separated.”
On Monday, Broncos head coach Vance Joseph said he told his players he did not want fighting, especially when a situation can be diffused, but that he understood Talib defending himself.
“I told our guys I don’t want it, but once it happens, how does a guy not defend himself?” Joseph said. “Punches are being thrown and helmets are off — I don’t want it to happen, but if it does happen you can’t blame a man for defending himself.
“I want our guys to simply defuse and walk away. That’s what I want.”
Raiders head coach said on Monday that he said that, based on what he saw from game tape, he’d hope Crabtree wouldn’t be suspended.
“Based on what I saw, I wouldn’t think there would be that type of reaction,” Del Rio said.
Follow digital content producer Johnny Hart on Twitter: @JohnnyHart7.
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