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Aqib Talib, Michael Crabtree ejected following skirmish

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  • By Austin Knoblauch NFL.com
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Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib and Oakland wide receiver Michael Crabtree were ejected early in the first quarter of Sunday's 21-14 Raiders win after getting into a scuffle that ended up involving several players.

Raiders guard Gabe Jackson also was ejected for pushing an official during the skirmish. 

Both Talib and Crabtree were given unnecessary roughness penalties. The fight started after Talib pulled off Crabtree's necklace at the end of a play. The two then engaged in a push-pull match that ended up knocking over at least a couple of people standing on the sideline before Broncos players swarmed them. After being briefly separated, both players threw punches at one another.

"I came out there to play football on Sunday," Talib told reporters Monday. "I really don't know what he came out there to do. I just came out there to play football. He came out here on his extra stuff -- One thing led to another, man. It's unfortunate. I wish it didn't happen, but it happened."

This isn't the first time Talib has pulled off Crabtree's necklace. Last season, Talib pulled off Crabtree's chain during a game. After last year's chain-snatching incident, Crabtree wasn't pleased.

"Snatching chains on the field, like what you accomplish? You hard? You tough? That make you tough?" Crabtree said last year. "You snatching chains in front of the police and take off running. Childish man."

Cornerback Chris Harris accused Crabtree of "sucker punching" him on the play prior to the brawl.

"Oh, yeah, I mean, I guess his initiative was to come out there and fight today," Harris said. "I guess it wasn't to play football. He come out there and just punch me in the stomach. I just lost my breath."

Raiders coach Jack Del Rio addressed the ejections at the beginning of his post-game news conference.

"I'm going to go ahead and talk right away about the ugly incident early on in the game," Del Rio began. "Where Aqib Talib and Michael Crabtree got into it and it escalated, I think they have a little bit of history with the chain snatching from years back. And I think there was an additional chain snatch, from what I understand, and the bottom line is we can't afford to lose one of our top receivers and our starting guard 'cause he went over there to help his buddy.

"We can't get two guys tossed like that, so. I have not had a chance to talk to them yet, I will address it the best I can. I have to count on my guys to do that right thing there and keep their poise and keep their composure and not get tossed."

Per NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, the fight will be reviewed by the league for potential discipline. No decision on the matter will be made until a full review, so any talk of suspension at this point is premature, as Rapoport notes.

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