The fight began after Crabtree appeared to push Talib out of bounds, well after the whistle on a second-down play had blown. After Crabtree brought Talib to the ground, a major brawl ensued, with more than a dozen players from each team involved.
“Both teams lost their best players,” Broncos coach Vance Joseph said. “It’s nonsense. It’s silly.”
Raiders guard Gabe Jackson was also ejected from the game after being flagged for shoving an official in the aftermath of the play.
In addition to Talib, the Broncos also lost defensive end Derek Wolfe in the first quarter due to a neck injury.
Talib and Crabtree have a recent history of discontent. During the Broncos’ victory over the Raiders to end last season, Talib snatched a gold chain off Crabtree’s neck, an action the wide receiver later called “childish.”
Sunday’s fight came one play after cornerback Chris Harris was visited by trainers on the field. As he left the field, Harris appeared to point toward the Oakland sideline, motioning as if he had been hit by a Raiders player.
“He sucker-punched me,” Harris said of Crabtree. “I’ve never seen that in the NFL.”
The fight between Talib and Crabtree came on the next play, and Talib appeared to once again reach for Crabtree’s necklace as the wide receiver was shoving him. Replays afterward appeared to show Talib connect with a punch on Crabtree, who had lost his helmet in the scuffle that spilled onto the Broncos’ sideline.
The scuffle continued into the end zone, where Crabtree took an errant swing at Talib before order was ultimately restored and both players left the field.
Broncos and Raiders fight inspired by Aqib Talib and Michael Crabtree pic.twitter.com/I0rcqi5pIm
— Nick Bromberg (@NickBromberg) November 26, 2017
Crabtree vs Talib: Round 2 pic.twitter.com/lDvDVsIzYZ
— NFL Retweet (@NFLRT) November 26, 2017
CRABTREE VS. TALIB ROUND 2 pic.twitter.com/RpfFLFmy9S
— Barstool Sports (@barstooltweetss) November 26, 2017
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) November 26, 2017