BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Ravens are wondering why wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. wasn’t ejected for throwing a punch Sunday, and the Cleveland Browns have the same question about cornerback Marlon Humphrey.
With 3 minutes, 35 seconds left in the third quarter, Beckham threw a right-handed punch at Humphrey’s helmet on a running back screen. Humphrey then responded by putting Beckham on his back and choking him with both hands.
“I saw what you saw,” Browns coach Freddie Kitchens told ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio. “He was getting choked on the ground. They get away with that because it’s Odell. I’m going to be on the phone with Al (Riveron, NFL senior vice president of officiating) when I get on the bus.”
After the Browns’ 40-25 win, Humphrey followed Beckham into the tunnel and apologized.
“It’s not really the brand of football I want to represent,” Humphrey said. “The whistle blowed. It has to be over with.”
Did Beckham apologize?
“I don’t think he did,” Humphrey said. “But I definitely told the refs he should’ve been ejected. It is what it is. Emotions flare.”
Beckham, who was held to a career-low two catches for 20 yards, was upset for a different reason.
“It’s hot out there. We’re just competing,” Beckham said. “I’m just upset that I lost my earring.”
Odell Beckham Jr. attributes the heat to the altercation that caused him to lose an earring and breaks down his trick play.
Referee Shawn Hochuli explained why there were no ejections by saying, “We didn’t see anything on the field that rose to the level of a disqualifying foul. When New York looked at it, they didn’t see anything, either, that rose to the level of a qualifying foul.”
A few plays before the incident, Humphrey was pulled down to the ground by the back of his neck by Beckham. Humphrey approached the officials to complain about the lack of a penalty.
With the victory, Cleveland (2-2) takes sole possession of first place in the AFC North over Baltimore (2-2). The Ravens and the Browns will face each other again on Dec. 22 at Cleveland.