The Cleveland Browns delivered a decisive beatdown of the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday to claim first place in the AFC North Division.
One of the biggest talking points after the game was a scuffle between Cleveland wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and Baltimore cornerback Marlon Humphrey that ultimately ended up with Beckham on the ground being choked by Humphrey.
While personal fouls were called on Beckham and Humphrey, along with Browns center J.C. Tretter and Ravens linebacker Kenny Young, referee Shawn Hochuli took a “boys will be boys” approach to the entire affair, explaining after the game that, “We didn’t see anything on the field that rose to the level of a disqualifying foul.”
That did not satisfy Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens, who plans to talk to the league office about the incident.
The Ravens took it to another level on Tuesday, however, releasing a video and story on the team’s official website disputing the notion that Humphrey actually choked Beckham during the incident. In fact, at least according to the Ravens, Humphrey was simply protecting himself from Beckham!
Here is how Ravens staff writer Ryan Mink saw everything go down:
The play happened late in the third quarter. Humphrey had, to that point, held Beckham without a catch. It was the first time in the All-Pro’s career that he didn’t catch a pass in the first three quarters, and it clearly got under his skin.
It was a run play, and Beckham took Humphrey to the turf with a wide swing of his right arm. Humphrey grabbed the front of Beckham’s jersey and popped to his feet. Beckham then grabbed Humphrey by the facemask and punched the side of Humphrey’s helmet.
Beckham didn’t let go of Humphrey’s facemask. Humphrey didn’t let go of Beckham’s jersey. It stayed that way after Beckham tried to sweep Humphrey with his leg, but instead pulled him to the ground.
Humphrey pinned the receiver to the turf, but, contrary to what Kitchens said, did not wrap his hands around Beckham’s neck and did not choke him.
Kitchens was asked about the incident again on Monday and said he would prefer if the refs would not allow an opposing player to put their hands around the throat of a Cleveland player, according to clevelandbrowns.com:
“Here is my big deal with that: I just want to have consistency with how we are going to deal with things. That is all I am looking for. I do not want there to be a situation where… I do not like seeing our player on the field and somebody’s hands around his throat. I do not like that. I do not think that needs to be in our game, and I would be the first to say that if it was our guy doing it. I want everybody held to the same standard. That is all I want.”
Clearly, the Ravens are still smarting from the beating the Browns gave them on Sunday, which means the rematch in Cleveland on December 22 should be must-see TV.