On Monday, pursuant to usual procedure, the NFL will examine the various incidents from the Panthers-Giants game for the potential imposition of discipline.
As far as the league office is concerned, a specific form of discipline should have been imposed on Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. on Sunday. According to a league source with knowledge of the situation, the NFL believes that Beckham should have been ejected on Sunday.
While there was no closed-fist punch from Beckham that connected with an opponent (which often is the trigger for an ejection), the source said that the referee has discretion to eject for lesser actions. Given the number of incidents in which Beckham was involved, the belief is that referee Terry McAuley should have exercised that discretion in a way that would have sent Beckham to the showers early.
Perhaps the most troubling move from Beckham came when he struck Panthers cornerback Josh Norman in the helmet with Beckham’s helmet, after a play. Although helmet-to-helmet hits applied in illegal fashion ordinarily don’t trigger a suspension without a history of such behavior, the NFL can be more aggressive when the behavior happens after the whistle.
And so it’s possible — but highly unlikely — that the league would decide to suspend Beckham specifically for the helmet-to-helmet hit on Norman. The far more likely outcome is that, like last Sunday’s Steelers-Bengals game, plenty of letters will be sent to multiple players this week, with plenty of involuntary donations being made to the charities of the NFL’s choosing.