As Giants receiver Odell Beckham and Panthers cornerback Josh Norman went back and forth with several cheap shots on Sunday, NFL V.P. of officiating Dean Blandino contacted the officiating crew to tell them to consider an ejection.
“There was a point during the game when I did get on the headset to the replay official to remind the referee that you can eject players, you’ll have our full support, this thing cannot get out of control,” Blandino said on NFL Network.
That’s a surprising admission, as ordinarily the league office says it only talks to the referee about specific calls that are reviewable on instant replay. If the league office is telling the referee during games to consider ejecting a certain player, that could raise all kinds of questions about how much influence the league office has on games.
At the same time, Blandino said NFL officials don’t take ejections lightly. In other sports leagues, ejections are more common, but in the NFL, with its 16-game season, kicking a player out of a game is considered a last resort.
Blandino, however, thinks an ejection should have been made — and not only with Beckham. Blandino indicated that Norman should have been ejected as well.
“It’s certainly an accumulation of instances, and not just on Beckham. There were some things on the other side, too, and I think both parties were involved. The officials, if you asked them, they would agree after looking at the tape that ejections were warranted,” Blandino said.
Blandino feels strongly enough about that that he told the ref to consider it during the game.