Marshawn Lynch Suspended 1 Game for Pushing Referee vs. Chiefs

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistOctober 20, 2017

OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 19:  Marshawn Lynch #24 of the Oakland Raiders is restrained after coming off the bench and shoving a referee during a scrum with the Kansas City Chiefs in their NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on October 19, 2017 in Oakland, California. Lynch was ejected for unsportsmanlike conduct.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch was suspended one game Friday for making contact with an official during Thursday's 31-30 win over the Kansas City Chiefs.

During the second quarter of the game, Lynch ran onto the field to get involved in a scrum that started after Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters was flagged for a late hit on Raiders quarterback Derek Carr.

Lynch bumped into line judge Julian Mapp and then appeared to push him, which resulted in an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and his ejection from the contest.

Both Lynch and Peters are Oakland natives, and Raiders offensive tackle Donald Penn noted after the game that Lynch was attempting to protect Peters and get him out of the fray, according to ESPN.com's Paul Gutierrez.

Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio chastised Lynch's decision to enter the field of play since it ended up costing the team: "I was disappointed he ran out because I knew we had a 15-yard penalty and we'd be in good shape. I told him you can't leave the bench like that. That was about it. Next thing I knew, he was being tossed. The referee told me he had actually put his hands on him."

Although Oakland went on to win the game, it was without its leading rusher for the majority of it.

After temporarily retiring in 2016, Lynch has rushed for 266 yards and two touchdowns on a 3.7-yards-per-carry average to go along with four receptions for 38 yards in 2017.

The 31-year-old veteran is a five-time Pro Bowler who topped 1,200 rushing yards and scored at least 11 rushing touchdowns in each of his first four full seasons with the Seattle Seahawks.

An injury-riddled 2015 campaign was followed by retirement, but there was optimism that Lynch could add another dimension to Oakland's offense upon his return. 

Although that hasn't happened to this point, Lynch's suspension is a major blow because of the skill set he brings to the table. 

He is Oakland's primary option in short-yardage situations because of his power, and the team doesn't have another back on the roster capable of filling that role.

Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington are both talented running backs with speed and pass-catching ability, however, and their increased usage will likely require Oakland to make some changes to its offensive game plan.

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