Aqib Talib and Michael Crabtree will ply their trade outside the confines of the AFC West in 2018, but that won't stop the two men from sharing a field this year. The Baltimore Sun reported Thursday that Crabtree's new squad, the Ravens, and Aqib's new employer, the Rams, will hold joint practices in advance of their preseason game in Baltimore on Aug. 9.
It's Dumb Beef Christmas. Crabtree-Talib III is on. No Chain, No Gain.
Talib, the former Broncos cornerback, and Crabtree, the ex-Raiders wide receiver, have brawled in each of the last two seasons. Their last altercation -- during a Week 12 contest in Oakland -- led to ejections and earned each player a two-game suspension (both bans were later reduced by a game). In each instance, fisticuffs erupted after Talib snatched Crabtree's prominent -- well, prominent to Talib, anyway -- gold chain.
As a refresher, here's what happened last November:
And here was the original on-field larceny in Week 17 of the 2016 season.
"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."
Of course, there seems to be a rather simple solution to Talib's "childish" behavior: Don't wear the chain to practice. Unfortunately, this is not an option for Crabtree, according to Rule 8, Section 5, Article 1 of the He-man Alpha Male Professional Athlete Handbook.
"At no point in an on-field confrontation is an individual permitted to back down under any circumstance. Any act of kindness or compromise, or any attempts at a deescalation of conflict, will be seen as a sign of weakness and surrender."
Last year, Crabtree knew Talib would be after his chain, so he attempted to tape the gold necklace to his chest before kickoff. This is something that really happened! That obviously didn't work, and now Crabtree has four months to think of a new defense strategy. One idea: Call up the Philadelphia police department and procure some of that industrial strength crisco they used on lampposts during the Eagles' playoff run.
You have to wonder if getting away from Talib was half the reason Crabtree signed with the Ravens in the first place. You just know there's no way the man is sleeping well tonight.