The NFL handed down two-game suspensions without pay to Oakland Raiders wide receiver Michael Crabtree and Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib for violating unsportsmanlike conduct and unnecessary roughness rules during a Sunday melee at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
According to the league's Collective Bargaining Agreement, appeals may be filed to the NFL office within three business days.
Crabtree would miss games against the New York Giants and Kansas City Chiefs the next two weeks. Talib would be suspended for games against the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets. Both would be eligible to return to the team's active roster on Dec. 11.
In a letter to Crabtree notifying him of the suspension, NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan wrote: "The series of flagrant violations for which you are being disciplined began with 12:31 remaining in the first quarter -- less than three minutes into the game. First, you punched a Broncos opponent Chris Harris in the midsection, resulting in him being removed from the game. Then, on the subsequent play, you blocked a different Broncos opponent (Aqib Talib) into the sidelines beyond the yellow media border, well after the play was over.
"Your actions triggered a melee and endangered various sideline and League personnel, including one of our game officials, who was injured trying to maintain control of the situation.
"Finally, during the ensuing altercation, you grabbed and twisted that same opponent's face mask and threw a punch at him. ... Such actions have no place in this game, engender ill will between teams, and lead to further confrontations."
In a letter to Talib, Runyan wrote: "The series of flagrant violations for which you are being disciplined began less than three minutes into the game. First, while competing on the field of play, you deliberately ripped your opponent's chain from his neck just as you did last year when you played against him.
"Then, when the two of you went to the ground after a subsequent play, you aggressively removed his helmet and threw it in his direction, endangering him and various sideline personnel in the near vicinity.
"Finally, once you were momentarily separated from your opponent, you again engaged him and threw a punch. ... Such actions have no place in this game, engender ill will between teams, and lead to further confrontations."