The NFL suspended Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. one game for his antics throughout New York’s Week 15 loss to the Carolina Panthers and towards cornerback Josh Norman.
Odell Beckham Jr. has been suspended for 1 game. Official statement to follow.
— Michael Signora (@NFLfootballinfo) December 21, 2015
Amidst a firestorm during and after the game, Beckham, 23, will miss New York’s critical Week 16 matchup at the Minnesota Vikings. However, he can appeal the NFL’s decision. There has been no word on whether Norman will also face a suspension or fine.
Beckham was flagged three times for unnecessary roughness penalties and a fourth time for offensive pass interference during the Giants 38-35 letdown to Carolina, including a hit to Norman’s helmet after a play was over in the second half. Also issued two unnecessary roughness flags, Norman, too, was guilty of very rough play, including a bodyslam of Beckham early in the game that has led to accusations of the defensive back starting the tussle.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Monday that Panthers practice-squad safety Marcus Ball carried on a team ritual for the season by bringing a black bat on to the field during pre-game warmups and that he and Beckham had to be separated. Rapoport also reported that Norman brought a bat on to the field as well, however ESPN's Adam Schefter tweeted Ball was the only Panther to swing the bat around during warmups.
Norman, 28, has become one of the NFL's best cornerbacks and ranks first in the league in opposing quarterback's passer rating, but his actions could cost the Panthers (14-0) while they hope to remain undefeated at Atlanta in Week 16. Norman's recorded four interceptions and 16 passes defensed for Carolina's fifth-ranked pass defense.
Beckham vs. Norman was the top matchup in the game, featuring one of the league’s premier receivers against a potential Defensive Player of the Year candidate. Throughout the contest the pair was wrestling, pushing, and hitting each other’s helmets, however, Beckham was largely the instigator and many questioned why referees didn’t eject him from the game.
Giants head coach Tom Coughlin has also come under fire for keeping Beckham in the game, to which the on-the-hot-seat coach said: “He’s gotta learn at some point how to deal with some things. I’m out there to win the football game.”
Norman, who snapped Beckham’s six-game streak of at least 100 receiving yards by holding him to six receptions for 76 yards, said after the game he felt Beckham should’ve been tossed.
"The guy ran 15 yards down the field, dead-on collision,'' Norman said. "The play was all the way to the left side. He came back and was hunting, and it was just, like, malicious in every way.
"I hope the league office gets a chance to review the film and see what they can do, because players like that don't deserve to be in the game,'' Norman said. "I mean, it's ridiculous."
The NFL, which has dealt with numerous complaints over officiating this season, released a statement following the game on why Beckham wasn’t ejected.
"The disqualification of a player is a judgment made by the on-field officials," the NFL said in a statement. "The actions of the players involved in unsportsmanlike conduct will be reviewed as per the standard protocol that is followed in all situations of this type throughout the season."
The suspension comes at dire time for New York. The loss puts New York (6-8) one game back of Washington for first place in the NFC East with only two games remaining.
This was an embarrassment https://t.co/MZspEnyM7s
— Sam (@megagen10) December 21, 2015