With a pivotal game coming up on Sunday for the Minnesota Vikings and New York Giants, all eyes are on Odell Beckham after the NFL handed down a 1-game suspension for egregious unsportsmanlike-like behavior in last week's game against the Carolina Panthers. Adrian Peterson knows all too well about dealing with NFL suspensions, and he spoke out to reporters earlier today to voice support for Odell Beckham Jr. The Star Tribune had the story, and Peterson said:
"I had the opportunity to reach out to the young guy, Odell, and tell him, ‘Hey, just learn from it and just keep your head up. I like both of those guys. Both of those guys are great football players in my eyes. It got physical out there and to me, the way I play, I like that. Both of them, did it kind of get out of hand maybe on one play each? Yeah. But my personal opinion, I don’t think it warranted a suspension. But that’s my one opinion. Outside of [quarterback] Eli Manning, [Beckham] is their best player, so it hurts them."
I find it interesting that Odell gets a 1-game suspension, and Josh Norman only gets a fine, but this is perhaps just another example of inconsistency in the way the NFL dishes out player discipline. Ultimately, this latest gaff by the NFL should fall on the referees, who let the behavior and conduct of these two players last much longer than it should have during the game. There's a strong case to be made that the players should have been ejected in the first place, which might have prevented the necessity of a suspension.
In any case, Beckham has appealed the suspension with a hearing today. A ruling is expected to come down soon, and likely before Sunday night's game. If the Giants are without their star receiver, it certainly improves the Vikings chances of getting a win in their last regular season home game of the year.
UPDATE: Word just came down from the league offices that Beckham's suspension was indeed upheld after he appealed. It would appear that the Giants will be without the services of their star wide receiver as they face the Vikings on Sunday Night Football.
Odell Beckham Jr.'s one-game suspension stands. Suspension upheld. Giants will not have OBJ vs. Vikings.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 23, 2015