After the dangerous, dirty play of New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. on Sunday in which he targeted Carolina Panthers cornerback Josh Norman, the NFL looks to suspend Beckham for one game, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
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The two players had exhibited chippy behavior from the start of the game as they shoved and wrestled, prompting two thrown on Beckham for unnecessary roughness and another to Norman for unnecessary roughness.
Then, in the third quarter, Beckham ran a route in which he ran by Norman, slapping him on the head. Norman doubled back to help the play back toward the line of scrimmage, but unbeknownst to Norman, Beckham circled back behind him and raced toward him to deliver a helmet-to helmet hit.
After the game, Norman called Beckham a “ballerina.” He asserted:
You going to get out here, and you’re going to dance around and prance around like you’re a ballerina, that goes to show you. When you cut back layers, you see. Everybody saw that live on national TV. There’s nothing that I can show that he hasn’t already been exposed. The maturity level on him is just as a little kid. I think he needs to grow. I tried to do my best to respect people. The guy ran 15 yards down the field, dead-on collision. 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.
You’re going to be Michael Jackson and go around and dancing and playing and a lot of other stuff and not be a football player and not train the way you’re supposed to train. It goes to show. I hope I pulled that mask off. I pulled back the face of what that dude really is. You want to play football, play football. Don’t come out here and do all that extra stuff.
On Monday, Norman told ESPN’s Mike & Mike that Beckham should have been ejected, adding, “All the concussion stuff that’s going around, they’re trying to prevent head-to-head, and if that wasn’t the blatant head to head, I don’t know what is … 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. I mean, it’s ridiculous.”
The NFL protested that only on-field officials can eject the player. Referee Terry McAulay allowed Beckham to stay in the game after the vicious hit. Only two ejections have been issued through the first 14 weeks of the season; 13 were issued in 2014: Seattle Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright in Week 2 and Denver Broncos safety T.J. Ward in Week 10.
Beckham would only say after the game that it was “unfortunate” the Giants lost, he regretted his three penalties, and that he was the second man, and thus he was the target. He stated, “You never want to hurt your team like that, and I have learned throughout my life, always, second man gets caught, It is just unfortunate.”
Giants coach Tom Coughlin said, “We had discussed prior to the game, going in, what the expectation would be, and he thought that that was all behind him. But he did lose his composure…. I’ll talk to him about it, and I’m not going to discuss anymore. Whatever we have to discuss, we will discuss in private.”
ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter commented, “I think people were stunned that this could go on, that officials could allow it to go on, because as bad as OBJ was yesterday, and as much as he allowed the game to get away from him, officials did the very same thing, and if they’re not, at the very least, downgraded, taken off a game, however the league wants to discipline that officiating crew, it was embarrassing to the NFL.”
Panthers quarterback Cam Newton offered his own perspective: “You got two bulls going at it in a physical sport, a field full of alpha males, they’re not going to be playing patty-cake, patty-cake.”