Losing control during Sunday’s loss to the Panthers will cost Giants star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. one game.
The NFL on Monday suspended Beckham for next weekend’s visit to Minnesota for his conduct against Carolina, when he drew three personal foul penalties. The league cited “multiple violations of safety-related playing rules.”
Beckham appealed the decision. His case will be heard by either James Thrash or Derrick Brooks, the hearing officers jointly appointed by the NFL and the players’ union.
Without Beckham, the Giants (6-8) would be missing their best offensive weapon as they try to stay alive in the NFC East race.
Beckham and Panthers cornerback Josh Norman tangled from the beginning of the Panthers’ 38-35 victory. At one point, Beckham delivered a diving helmet-to-helmet hit on Norman while blocking.
There was plenty of pushing, shoving, swinging, wrestling, late hits and trash talking between them.
Beckham, the 2014 Offensive Rookie of the Year, has 91 catches for 1,396 yards and 13 touchdowns, tied for the league lead. He has a base salary of $893,000 and would lose $55,813 for being suspended for Sunday night’s game.
The suspension was imposed by NFL Vice President of Football Operations Merton Hanks, who ruled that Beckham’s actions placed his opponents at unnecessary risk of injury and should have been avoided.
“At numerous times during (Sunday’s) game against the Carolina Panthers, your actions placed a fellow player at unnecessary risk . and clearly did not represent the high standards of sportsmanship expected,” Hanks said in a letter to Beckham.
Hanks specifically pointed to 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 (Norman); 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, the NFL’s statement said.
The conduct of other players in the game is being reviewed by the NFL for potential fines.
If the suspension is upheld, Beckham would not be permitted this week to be at the Giants’ practice facility. He would be barred from team meetings, attending or watching practices; attending Sunday’s game; or having contact with any club personnel except to arrange off-site medical treatment or rehabilitation.
He would be reinstated next Monday.
After Sunday’s game, Beckham refused to discuss his run-ins with Norman. There was no media availability with Beckham on Monday.
Asked about the personal fouls, he said Sunday, “You never want to hurt your team like that. I have learned it all throughout my life you know, always second man gets called, always that it is just unfortunate. You go back and watch the film tomorrow and you learn from it.”
Norman was infuriated by the helmet-to-helmet hit and called for the league to look at Beckham’s play.
“He was 15 yards down the field and went straight for my head. It was just crazy, man,” Norman said.
“He’s got the maturity of a little kid,” Norman added of Beckham, who finished with six catches for 72 yards and a touchdown and also dropped a sure TD pass in the first quarter.