Beckham was suspended for his actions during Sunday’s game against the Panthers, during which he was flagged for three personal foul penalties and took a blind-side shot at cornerback Josh Norman‘s head. In the NFL’s statement explaining the suspension, the league cited a total of six incidents, including three for which Beckham wasn’t penalized at the time.
Since the league announced the one-game ban, stories have surfaced about the Panthers antagonizing and threatening Beckham pre-game, with practice-squad player Marcus Ball said to have been carrying a baseball bat toward the Giants’ sideline and issuing threats. While there were reports suggesting that Ball or other Panthers players used homophobic slurs to taunt Beckham, those alleged comments weren’t mentioned during today’s appeal hearing, according to Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
“I appealed my suspension because it is a right granted to all players under the NFL’s CBA and because I owe it to my teammates to do everything I can to be on the field this week. Regardless of the outcome of my appeal, I apologize for my actions on Sunday,” Beckham said. “I work hard to be great and accepting the Blessing of having the physical skills to play at this leve brings the responsibility to conduct myself in a certain way on and off the field. Sportsmanship and respecting the game are as important as blocking, running routes, and catching the football. I dropped the ball on sportsmanship on Sunday. I apologize to my teammates, the Giants organization, and to all fans of the NFL.”
While the Panthers’ pre-game actions resulted in a league-wide warning from NFL exec Troy Vincent cautioning teams not to take outside objects – such as baseball bats – onto the field, hearing officer James Thrash wasn’t persuaded that Beckham’s violations could be excused.
Beckham, who let his emotions get the better of him during Sunday’s 38-35 loss to the undefeated Panthers, will now be sidelined for the Giants’ must-win contest. The Giants need to win their final two games and hope Washington loses out in order to win the NFC East. Now, that tall order just got a little bit taller with ODB out of commission for Week 16.
Beckham was slowed down somewhat on Sunday by Norman and the Panthers secondary, who held him under 100 yards receiving for the first time since Week 7. However, he has been one of the league’s top wideouts this year, racking up 91 receptions, 1,396 yards, and 13 touchdowns — each of those figures matches or bests his 2014 marks.
The Giants will have the opportunity to fill Beckham’s spot on the 53-man roster, as he spends the week on the reserve/suspended list.