Suspensions from Denver Broncos-Los Angeles Rams Post-Game Altercation Reduced to Fines
Jamie Schwaberow/Getty; Jeff Lewis/AP/Shutterstock Randy Gregory, Oday Abushi
A day after the NFL handed down player suspensions to Denver Broncos linebacker Randy Gregory and Los Angeles Rams guard Oday Aboush following a postgame brawl on the field, it was announced that the league’s appeals officers reduced the punishment to fines.
On Sunday, after a game that ended in an embarrassing 14-51 loss for Denver, Gregory appeared to be swinging and hit Aboulsh in the helmet. The Rams guard then appeared to hit the Broncos linebacker.
Both players received letters from the league on Monday that read in part, “While walking toward a group of teammates, coaches and media, you both stopped and leaned into each other’s head and/or neck.”
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“Your aggressive behavior may have caused serious injury and clearly does not reflect the high standards of sportsmanship expected of a professional,” the letter said, along with a one-match ban for each player.
However, on Tuesday, league appeals officers Derrick Brooks and James Thrash overturned the suspension in favor of fines, according to ESPN. Gregory, who allegedly moved first, was fined $50,000. Aboulshi was fined $12,000.
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After the incident, Gregory released a statement: “Dear Broncos country, I would like to thank my amazing teammates, staff and fans who have supported me throughout this disappointing season. I would like to take this opportunity to I sincerely apologize for my actions yesterday. The game was full of emotion and frustration and was not a reflection of my character.”
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“My goal is to finish strong this season, play with pride and be part of the solution and not the ongoing problem,” Gregory concluded.
Both players are eligible to play in their respective upcoming matches.
After Sunday’s loss, Denver (currently 4-11) fired first-year coach Nathaniel Hackett. In a media conference to discuss the decision Tuesday, Broncos general manager George Paton also addressed QB Russell Wilson’s disappointing first year with the team after signing a massive contract with Denver.
According to Paton, Hackett’s firing wasn’t a “coaching move” based solely on the struggling QB.
“That’s not what this is about,” he told reporters. “That’s not why we’re getting a new coach, to bring Russ back. It’s about the whole organization. It’s about the whole football team. It’s not just one player.”
Paton continued, “It’s not whether Russ is fixable or not,” before adding, “We believe he is. We believe.”