NFL Players Suspended For Throwing Punches After Game

A linebacker for the Denver Broncos and an offensive lineman for the Los Angeles Rams were suspended for one week without pay after throwing punches following the game between the two teams over the weekend.

Edge rusher Randy Gregory and offensive guard Oday Aboushi traded blows as the teams were shaking hands following the Rams’ 51-14 blowout win over the Broncos at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles.

The two players were seen arguing at midfield when the fight broke out before players rushed in to break it up.

“As you were walking toward a group of teammates, coaches, and media, you both stopped and swung at each other’s head and/or neck,” said NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan in a letter to both players. “Your aggressive conduct could have caused serious injury and clearly does not reflect the high standards of sportsmanship expected of a professional.”

The Denver Broncos fired head coach Nathaniel Hackett on Monday following the humiliating loss.

Hackett, who was in his first year coaching the team, lost the confidence of the team’s new ownership, led by Walmart heir Rob Walton. The Broncos have struggled all season to score points despite quarterback and prized acquisition Russell Wilson.

“Following extensive conversations with (general manager) George (Paton) and our ownership group, we determined a new direction would ultimately be in the best interest of the Broncos,” Walton’s son-in-law, Greg Penner, said in a statement. “This change was made now out of respect for everyone involved and allows us to immediately begin the search for a new head coach.”

The Broncos have already been assured of missing the playoffs for the seventh consecutive season. Under previous owner Pat Bowlen, the team went to seven Super Bowls in 30 years, winning three times, including back-to-back in 1998 and 1999.

Hackett was hired in January after serving three seasons as offensive coordinator for the Green Bay Packers. He edged out former Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell, who instead was hired by the Minnesota Vikings who are 12-3 under him. After hiring Hackett, the Broncos traded two first-round picks and a pair of second-rounders for Wilson, who they then signed to a five-year, $245 million contract.

Wilson is having by far the worst season of his career and played poorly again on Sunday, throwing three interceptions. With the likely future Hall of Famer under center, the team is averaging a mere 15.5 points per game.

Hackett has made several questionable calls during the season, beginning in the first game against Seattle, in which he had his kicker attempt a 64-yard field goal instead of going for a first down while trailing 17-16 with less than a minute to play.

Greg Wilson contributed to this report. 

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