Thursday night’s NFL game in Oakland was quite interesting on a number of levels. The Raiders picked up a badly needed home win in (very) exciting fashion but, before that, running back Marshawn Lynch was ejected for grabbing and shoving an official in the midst of an on-field scuffle.
While discipline from the NFL did not come immediately, the league provided a one-game suspension for the veteran ball-carrier and it came via an epic Friday evening news dump.
Lynch’s suspension comes as a result of “unsportsmanlike conduct” and, in truth, it is not a surprise that he would receive that kind of punishment for his actions that included what the NFL described as “unnecessary physical contact with a game official.” It would be impossible to explain away Lynch’s conduct in the midst of the incident and, even if there is some humor and intrigue involved in him watching the remainder of the contest from the stands in Oakland, this felt like an inevitable outcome.
The Raiders should be able to navigate a one-game absence from their central running back, especially on the heels of a passing game renaissance from Thursday evening. Still, it is never ideal to be without a player like Lynch and the timing of the suspension will probably raise some eyebrows.