NEW YORK (AP) — Broncos linebacker Randy Gregory and Rams offensive lineman Oday Aboushi were each suspended one game for exchanging punches following Los Angeles' 51-14 win over Denver on Sunday.
NFL Vice President of Football Operations Jon Runyan issued the suspensions Monday for violations of unsportsmanlike conduct and unnecessary roughness rules, specifically those which prohibits "striking, swinging at, or clubbing the head, neck, or face of an opponent with the wrist(s), arm(s), elbow(s) or hand(s).”
Gregory will miss the Broncos' game at Kansas City on Sunday and Aboushi will sit out the Rams' game against the Los Angeles Chargers.
In letters to the players, Runyan wrote: “As you were walking toward a group of teammates, coaches, and media, you both stopped and swung at each other’s head and/or neck. Your aggressive conduct could have caused serious injury and clearly does not reflect the high standards of sportsmanship expected of a professional.”
Gregory, who threw the first punch, declined to discuss it after the game except to say, “Y’all want to know if I hit him in the mouth, I did.”
Gregory also lost his cool during the game, throwing his helmet after the Broncos fell behind by three touchdowns in the second quarter and later hitting quarterback Baker Mayfield in the head in the fourth quarter.
Gregory and Aboushi exchanged words during the postgame handshakes between the teams and Gregory threw a punch at Aboushi's helmet. Aboushi reciprocated before teammates separated them.
Both will be eligible to return to their active roster on Jan. 2. Under the collective bargaining agreement, they also can appeal their suspensions.
Coach Sean McVay said the Rams and Aboushi will appeal the suspension. Aboushi has started four games and played extensively in two others since signing with Los Angeles in September. The nine-year NFL veteran played all but one snap against the Broncos, adding veteran stability to a line that has been decimated by injuries.
Gregory has been suspended several times by the NFL, including 14 games in 2016 for violations of the league's substance abuse policy and the entire 2017 and 2019 seasons for multiple violations. Other suspensions include two games in 2018 and six in 2020.