The New York Giants' uphill battle to win the NFC East just grew steeper.
Star wideout Odell Beckham was suspended one game for multiple violations of safety-related playing rules during Sunday's crushing 38-35 loss to the Carolina Panthers, the league announced Monday. Beckham's appeal hearing will be heard by former NFL wide receiver James Thrash on Wednesday, a league source told NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport.
Beckham repeatedly tangled with Panthers cornerback Josh Norman on Sunday, with the wideout drawing four total penalties including an unruly three personal fouls. Beckham was fortunate that game officials didn't eject him long before the final whistle.
In one pointed third-quarter series of events, Beckham took a blindside shot directly at Norman's helmet.
"At numerous times during yesterday's game against the Carolina Panthers, your actions placed a fellow player at unnecessary risk ... and clearly did not represent the high standards of sportsmanship expected," NFL vice president of Football operations Merton Hanks wrote in a letter to Beckham.
"There are qualities that Odell Beckham, this young man, brings to this football team. The likes of which I've never seen," Coughlin said. "He has great energy, great enthusiasm, he gives great effort. He does it literally every day he walks out on the field. He is an emotional young man. He wears his emotions on his sleeve and I will not defend his actions yesterday because they were wrong. This particular franchise and organization does not tolerate that. So I would not do that. But I will defend the young man and the quality of the person. I will defend him as long as I'm able and I told our team that. Our team feels the same way."
Tension between Beckham and Norman brewed long before kickoff, with NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reporting that OBJ had to be separated before the game from Panthers practice squad player Marcus Ball, who was wielding a black baseball bat that Carolina players tend to tote around during warmups. Ball reportedly handed the bat to Norman at one point, leaving Beckham to supposedly feel threatened. The NFL on Monday was also looking into that confrontation.
Still, Beckham hurt the Giants on Sunday with his lack of composure in a game that boiled down to the final seconds and likely cost New York a withering chance at the postseason.
The hot takes will be hotter than ever this week, but we'll leave it right here: Beckham's heroics are always timely in New York, but this latest misadventure couldn't have come in a worse spot for a team -- and a coach, in Coughlin -- fighting for life in the NFC East.