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Broncos CB Aqib Talib suspended for two games; Will not play against Dolphins

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Denver Broncos vs Oakland Raiders Photo by Robert Reiners/Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins will face the Denver Broncos on Sunday in a Week 13 AFC showdown at Hard Rock Stadium. Both teams are coming into the game well under expectations for this season, and now the Broncos will be without a key member of their defense. The league has suspended cornerback Aqib Talib for two games for his role in a fight with Oakland Raiders Michael Crabtree on Sunday.

Crabtree had an incident a play before the fight with the Broncos’ Chris Harris, Jr., an incident where it appeared Crabtree punched the Broncos’ cornerback. On the next play, Crabtree went after Talib, who then ripped the necklace off Crabtree - a repeat of an incident between the two at the end of last season. Crabtree’s helmet was ripped off, multiple punches were thrown, and, just as calm seemed to be coming back, Talib ran over to Crabtree again, restarting the fight. Ultimately, Marshawn Lynch had to escort Talib back to the Broncos’ side of the field, away from the rest of the Raiders.

The NFL released a statement about the suspension of both players:

Michael Crabtree of the Oakland Raiders and Aqib Talib of the Denver Broncos have been suspended without pay for two games each for violations of unsportsmanlike conduct and unnecessary roughness rules in Sunday's game between the Raiders and Broncos.

NFL Vice President of Football Operations Jon Runyan issued the suspensions.

In his letter to Crabtree notifying him of the suspension, Runyan wrote:

"The series of flagrant violations for which you are being disciplined began with 12:31 remaining in the first quarter – less than three minutes into the game. First, you punched a Broncos opponent Chris Harris in the midsection, resulting in him being removed from the game. Then, on the subsequent play, you blocked a different Broncos opponent (Aqib Talib) into the sidelines beyond the yellow media border, well after the play was over. Your actions triggered a melee and endangered various sideline and League personnel, including one of our Game Officials who was injured trying to maintain control of the situation. Finally, during the ensuing altercation, you grabbed and twisted that same opponent's facemask and threw a punch at him…Such actions have no place in this game, engender ill will between teams, and lead to further confrontations."

In his letter to Talib notifying him of the suspension, Runyan wrote:

"The series of flagrant violations for which you are being disciplined began less than three minutes into the game. First, while competing on the field of play, you deliberately ripped your opponent's chain from his neck just as you did last year when you played against him. Then, when the two of you went to the ground after a subsequent play, you aggressively removed his helmet and threw it in his direction, endangering him and various sideline personnel in the near vicinity. Finally, once you were momentarily separated from your opponent, you again engaged him and threw a punch…Such actions have no place in this game, engender ill will between teams, and lead to further confrontations."

Crabtree is suspended for games against the New York Giants and Kansas City Chiefs and will be eligible to return to the Raiders' active roster on Monday, December 11 following the team's December 10 game against Kansas City.

Talib is suspended for games against the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets and will be eligible to return to the Broncos' active roster on Monday, December 11 following the team's December 10 game against the Jets.