Rams-Broncos Postgame Punch Exchange Leads To NFL 1-Game Suspensions For Two Players

The Denver Broncos loss to the Los Angeles Rams has had a lot more ramifications than simply deciding which of the two teams not going anywhere is better or worse.

The NFL has just suspended Broncos defensive lineman Randy Gregory and Rams offensive lineman Oday Aboushi for a post-game incident in which they both threw punches at each other on the field after the game.

Each has been suspended without pay for one game for violations of unsportsmanlike conduct and unnecessary roughness rules following Sunday’s Broncos-Rams game, the NFL announced.

NFL Vice President of Football Operations Jon Runyan issued the suspensions for  violations of Rule 12, Section 3, Article 1 which prohibits unsportsmanlike conduct and applies to “any act which is contrary to the generally understood principles of sportsmanship” and Rule 12, Section 2, Article 14c which prohibits “striking, swinging at, or clubbing the head, neck, or face of an opponent with the wrist(s), arm(s), elbow(s), or hand(s).”

In letters to the players, Runyan wrote: “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. Your aggressive conduct could have caused serious injury and clearly does not reflect the high standards of sportsmanship expected of a professional.”

Gregory will be eligible to return to the Broncos’ active roster on Monday, January 2, following the team’s January 1 game against Kansas City.

Aboushi will be eligible to return to the Rams’ active roster on Monday, January 2, following the team’s January 1 game against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Gregory and Aboushi may appeal their suspensions.

Any appeal will be heard and decided by either Derrick Brooks or James Thrash, the hearing officers jointly appointed and compensated by the NFL and NFLPA to decide appeals of on-field player discipline.

The game, a 51-14 victory for the Rams, also led to the firing of Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett.

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Armando Salguero is a national award-winning columnist and is OutKick's Senior NFL Writer. He has covered the NFL since 1990 and is a selector for the Pro Football Hall of Fame and a voter for the Associated Press All-Pro Team and Awards. Salguero, selected a top 10 columnist by the APSE, has worked for the Miami Herald, Miami News, Palm Beach Post and ESPN as a national reporter. He has also hosted morning drive radio shows in South Florida.