NFL justified in suspending Odell Beckham Jr. after late hit
1:57 | NFL
NFL justified in suspending Odell Beckham Jr. after late hit
Monday December 21st, 2015

The NFL suspended New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. for one game “for multiple violations of safety-related playing rules” in the Giants’ loss to the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, the league announced Monday.

Beckham and Panthers cornerback Josh Norman were involved in several physical altercations during the game, culminating with a helmet-to-helmet hit initiated by Beckham in the third quarter.

Beckham will reportedly appeal the suspension, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports.

From the league’s statement:

Beckham was penalized three times for unnecessary roughness, including a late helmet-to-helmet hit against a defenseless player in which Beckham left his feet prior to contact to spring forward and upward into his opponent, lowered his helmet and initiated forcible contact with his helmet, and forcibly struck the defenseless player's head. This "blindside block" was particularly flagrant because Beckham, with a 10-yard running start, had an unobstructed path to his opponent, the position of the opponent was not impacted by any other player, and the contact with the head/neck was avoidable.

La Canfora  reported after the game that the NFL was reviewing the helmet-to-helmet hit, after which the two players continued to fight. 

BURKE: Beckham Jr. undisciplined in reckless spats with Norman

After the game, Beckham defended his actions, saying the second man to enter an altercation is the one who “gets caught.”

“You are a competitor. I’m a competitor. We are always going to go at it,” Beckham said, according to the Associated Press. “Anybody who has played sports—you are competitive and you are going to go as hard as you can.”

Watch: Newton calls Beckham ‘unbelievable guy,’ hugs him after win

Norman also deflected blame, calling Beckham immature and saying he hoped he “pulled back the facemask on who [Beckham] really is.”

“Obviously he was on display, and we really got to see who he is,” Norman said. “You go through the rigorous training we go through, and you go on the battlefield, you don't see the way a person is until you start playing the way you play. It goes to show you, man, that you can understand what kind of player this guy is, what he is. He’s got the maturity of a little kid.”

The Panthers retained their perfect record with the 38–35 win, moving to 14–0.

- Erin Flynn

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