Talib had torn a gold chain necklace from Crabtree’s person during the final game of 2016 without receiving any discipline from the league. However, he got nailed this time around, presumably because the game was interrupted by a brawl between the two squads following Crabtree’s retaliation.
Crabtree and Talib were immediately ejected for throwing punches during the melee, the latter being helpfully escorted by Marshawn Lynch through the Raiders bench area to the locker room tunnels. Raiders right guard Gabe Jackson was also disqualified for running an official over on his way to the fight. The Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Michael Gehlken reported that he’ll likely be fined instead.
The potential absences of Crabtree and Talib will affect their teams in different ways. For Crabtree, the Raiders managed to emerge victorious without him, cruising to a 21-14 win. However, fellow wideout Amari Cooper sprained his ankle and got concussed during the game, which could leave the Raiders receiving corps extremely thin for the next couple of weeks.
Meanwhile, the Broncos secondary wasn’t up to their usual high standards after Talib’s exile. Then again, at 3-7, they have little to play for the rest of the way. Talib has had an All-Pro caliber season though, so missing two contests could hurt his chances for postseason awards.
In any case, the fight gave us some social media fodder, but it also showed that the NFL isn’t likely to tolerate large-scale brawls going forward.
By the by, Talib should be forced to pay for a replacement chain. It’s only fair.