Michael Crabtree, Aqib Talib Suspensions Reduced to 1 Game for Week 12 Fight

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistNovember 29, 2017

Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib (21) fights Oakland Raiders wide receiver Michael Crabtree (15) during the first half of an NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Ben Margot/Associated Press

The two-game suspensions levied to Oakland Raiders wide receiver Michael Crabtree and Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib for their Week 12 fight were reduced to one game apiece Tuesday following their appeal, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported. 

As seen in the following video, Crabtree and Talib engaged in a brawl during the first quarter of Oakland's 21-14 win over Denver:

The fight marked the continuation of an issue between Crabtree and Talib from Week 17 of last season,  during which Talib yanked a chain from around Crabtree's neck. He did the same during Sunday's tussle.

NFL Vice President of Operations Jon Runyan announced the two-game suspensions Monday, placing blame on both Crabtree and Talib for the escalation of the incident.

According to ESPN.com's Jeff Legwold, Runyan said Talib "aggressively" removed Crabtree's chain and helmet and threw a punch, adding, "Such actions have no place in this game, engender ill will between teams and lead to further confrontations."

Regarding Crabtree, Runyan said the Oakland wideout punched Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr. in the stomach on the previous play and that his interaction with Talib "triggered a melee and endangered various sideline and League personnel, including one of the Game Officials who was injured trying to maintain control of the situation."

Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio wasn't happy with the initial decision, as he cited a previous fight between Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green and Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey:

Both Green and Ramsey were tossed from the Week 9 game for fighting, but neither player was suspended.

The suspensions represent significant losses for both the Raiders and Broncos entering the stretch run of the season.

Despite being just 5-6, the Raiders are in the thick of the AFC playoff hunt. Luckily, they are now set to be without their second-leading receiver for only one game.

Crabtree is tied for the team lead with 42 catches, ranks second with 502 receiving yards and is first with six receiving touchdowns.

Denver is likely out of playoff contention at 3-8, but Talib is an elite cornerback who has made the Pro Bowl in each of the past four seasons. While Talib has just 19 tackles and one interception in 2017, the Broncos pass defense will be far more suspect while he's on the sideline.

The Raiders will host the New York Giants this week, while the Broncos will travel to Miami to take on the Dolphins.

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