Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib has admitted he intentionally pulled down Carolina Panthers receiver Philly Brown by his facemask, but Brown doesn’t want Talib suspended to start the 2016 season.
“I don’t think Talib should be suspended,” Brown tweeted Tuesday afternoon. “I hope he plays when we travel to (D)enver next (year). He was frustrated that’s what immature pros do!!”
Talib was flagged for the facemask penalty early in the second quarter of Denver’s 24-10 victory over the Panthers in Super Bowl 50. Brown caught a pass for 13 yards and was yanked down by his facemask by Talib at the 3.
The Panthers got the ball near the 1-yard line and scored a play later.
Earlier in the game, Talib got a personal foul penalty for taunting. He got into Brown’s face and pushed him on the Denver sideline, and the penalty extended a Panthers drive.
“The guy was talking on our sideline,” Talib told reporters. “One I just did on purpose, and I just had to show him. It’s probably going to be a fine, but hey, we’re world champs.”
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said last week he would propose ejecting a player who accrued two personal foul penalties in a single game. Under those guidelines, Talib would have been ejected before halftime. Panthers safety Tre Boston would have joined him in the second half.
“I wish he wouldn’t have done that,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said of Talib admitting he did it intentionally. “You’ve got to be careful. The commissioner talked about two personal fouls and removing players and that just adds credence to the argument. The thing we have to understand too, maybe you’re going to create a system where referees are going to look at things whether they’re flagrant fouls or not.
“You’d hate for a guy to realize that I can send a message by playing that way. I wish that wouldn’t have come out. If that’s how he felt unfortunately then the league will have to decide on that.”
According to Pro Football Talk, the NFL will consider suspending Talib for the facemask. That suspension would likely be one game and applied to the first game of the season.
It’s possible that would be the Super Bowl 50 rematch. The Super Bowl champions almost always begin Week 1 at home, and the NFL likes championship rematches.
Carolina is set to travel to Denver in 2016, and the schedule will be released in the spring.