The fight broke out when Talib ripped off Crabtree’s necklace for the second time in their last two meetings. Crabtree responded by driving Talib off the field and onto his back, prompting Talib’s Bronco teammates to gang up on Crabtree while Talib tore off Crabtree’s helmet and threw it.
Within moments, both teams were in an all-out brawl on the sideline. Gabe Jackson accidentally ran into the back of an official before also getting ganged up on by Broncos players (it was on the Denver side of the field).
While this was happening, Talib was still coming after Crabtree. Both players took swings at each other, neither fully landing a punch. Both players as well as Jackson were ejected.
On the season before all of this, Chris Harris Jr said Michael Crabtree “sucker punched” him.
Here is what NFL VP of Operations John Runyan told Crabtree in his reasoning for the suspension:
"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 facemask and threw a punch at him…Such actions have no place in this game, engender ill will between teams, and lead to further confrontations."
Here is what Runyan told Talib:
"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."
Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio doesn’t agree with the severity of the punishment. He took to twitter, citing precedence from the AJ Green/Jalen Ramsey in which neither player was suspended even one game.
Hard to understand the reasoning for this judgement based on most recent ruling w/ altercation see WR Cin and DB Jax = 0 games suspended https://t.co/jH9cZRecPn— Jack Del Rio (@coachdelrio) November 28, 2017
Both Crabtree and Talib will appeal their suspensions.