OAKLAND, Calif. >> The feud between Oakland receiver Michael Crabtree and Denver cornerback Aqib Talib spilled over into a new season and led to a full-blown brawl and three ejections today.
Crabtree has been upset ever since Talib ripped Crabtree’s chain off his neck during the regular-season finale last season. Crabtree sat out the first meeting this season in Denver with a chest injury, but didn’t wait long to try for revenge in the rematch.
On the second play of Oakland’s second drive, Crabtree aggressively blocked Talib on a running play and drove him to the ground on the Broncos sideline. Talib ripped Crabtree’s chain off his neck while they were tangled up, and a brawl ensued.
Several Broncos players surrounded Crabtree as he tussled with Talib before his Raiders teammates could come to his assistance. Guard Gabe Jackson pushed an official as he tried to join in and got ejected for his actions.
Talib threw Crabtree’s helmet aside and the two then went at it near the end zone with both players exchanging punches, even though Talib was still wearing his helmet. Crabtree’s teammate Johnny Holton joined in and grabbed Talib and the things calmed down.
Crabtree and Talib were ejected for fighting.
On the previous play, Crabtree injured Talib’s teammate Chris Harris Jr. on a downfield block. Harris was upset after the play and yelled toward the Raiders bench as he left the field.
Meanwhile, Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch stayed out of the fray. As players on both teams fought, Lynch walked back to the Raiders sideline with his arms in the air. Lynch ran off the sideline to join a fight earlier this season against Kansas City and was ejected and suspended one game when he shoved an official.
Lynch then escorted Talib through the Raiders sideline to the tunnel to the locker room after the ejection as the crowd booed Talib loudly.