That didn’t take long.
Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch has been suspended by the NFL for one game following an incident with a referee on Thursday night in the team’s 31-30 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. He’ll miss their game next Sunday against the Buffalo Bills as a result.
After a late hit (which was flagged for unnecessary roughness) on Raiders quarterback Derek Carr by Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters in the second quarter, a scuffle ensued between members of both teams. Lynch, who was not in the game on the play in question, sprinted from the sidelines into the fray, grabbing official Julian Mipp by the shirt in the process.
Lynch was immediately ejected from the game for contacting an official. Despite early reports saying that he left Oakland Alameda County Coliseum immediately after entering the locker room, he was later spotted sitting amongst the fans later in the game.
One might think Lynch got a little hotheaded following the hit on Carr, but it’s actually a bit more complex than that. He and Peters happen to have close ties; both grew up in Oakland, and Lynch has acted as a mentor to the third-year corner, going as far as to call him his “cousin.” The two humorously left the stadium together on a local BART train, where Lynch was filmed partaking in a joking “f*** the Chiefs” chant toward Peters with surrounding fans (along with flipping the double-deuce middle fingers at him).
Essentially, Lynch went out on the field to break up a fight between his teammates and an opposing player he cares about. The grab of Mipp was accidental, though Lynch also didn’t help his case by continuing to touch the official afterward. It was a dumb move to come on the field regardless, but at least his intentions were good.
Contacting an official always results in ejection and usually leads to a suspension as well, depending on the severity. Lynch had just 2 carries for 9 yards before getting tossed, and the duo of Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington were able to hold down the fort for the most part in the backfield. Maybe a game off will help Lynch clear his head.