[Editor’s note: The NFL issued the following statement on Monday, December 21, 2015.]
ODELL BECKHAM JR. SUSPENDED ONE GAME FOR VIOLATIONS OF PLAYER SAFETY RULES
ODELL BECKHAM JR. of the New York Giants has been suspended without pay for next Sunday night’s game against the Minnesota Vikings for multiple violations of safety-related playing rules in yesterday’s game against the Carolina Panthers.
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.
The suspension was imposed by NFL Vice President of Football Operations MERTON HANKS. Hanks ruled that Beckham’s actions placed his opponents at unnecessary risk of injury and should have been avoided.
In a letter to Beckham, Hanks noted, “At numerous times during yesterday’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.”
Beckham will not be permitted this week to attend team meetings and functions; attend or watch practices; appear at the club’s facilities for any reason; attend press conferences; appear at the team’s December 27 game; or have contact with any club personnel except to arrange off-site medical treatment or rehabilitation. Beckham will be reinstated on Monday, December 28.
Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the suspension may be appealed within three business days. Appeals are heard and decided by either DERRICK BROOKS or JAMES THRASH, the officers jointly appointed and compensated by the NFL and NFLPA to decide appeals of on-field player discipline.
The conduct of other players in the Panthers-Giants game is being reviewed for potential discipline in the form of fines.