NFL upholds Aqib Talib suspension for eye-poking incident

Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib will sit out this Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs after the NFL upheld his one-game suspension for poking Indianapolis Colts tight end Dwayne Allen in the eye last Sunday.

Aqib appealed the suspension, calling the incident “an honest mistake.” However, he did apologize for the incident Monday after the suspension was levied.

“They’re entitled to discipline me. I deserve discipline,” he told reporters. “It was not intentional. I should have never went over there in the first place. … My emotions got the best of me. I was a little heated. … That’s what I regret.”

Talib also was flagged for berating an official near the end of his team’s 27-24 loss to the Colts. The two penalties meant the Broncos did not get the ball back to attempt a last-minute drive or give quarterback Peyton Manning an opportunity to break the record for career passing yards. Manning threw for 281 yards Sunday now has 71,836 during his career, three yards short of breaking Brett Favre’s record of 71,838.

Talib’s penalties came in the final 2 minutes, 35 seconds of the game. On the first, Talib was flagged for poking Allen in the eye following some pushing and shoving after a 2-yard run by the Colts.

“You guys ever played football? You ever lost, at the end of the game? If you can remember back at how that feels, that’s how I felt,” Talib said after the game. “I was just mad, man. It was the heat of the moment.

“You think I play football to poke people in the eye? It was an honest mistake. From my angle, I see (Allen) head butt Von (Miller) a little bit. I went over to poke his head, and I think my hand slipped and hit his face. He acted like he got in an 18-passenger car wreck. I guess that’s what type of guy he is.”

Allen disagreed with Talib’s version of what happened.

“You’re taught since little league football to play to the whistle within the boundaries of the game,” Allen said. “I just felt like Aqib, who is a heckuva player, Pro Bowl player, a guy of his caliber I look up to, went outside the boundary of the game and decided to take a cheap shot.

“Out of nowhere, I saw something, and it went into my eye. First time I’ve ever been poked in the eye intentionally when I’m not on the bottom of the pile. Very blurry. My eye is still really sore.”

With 28 seconds remaining in the game on a 23-yard field goal attempt by Adam Vinatieri, Talib was flagged after the kick for unsportsmanlike conduct. Referee Brad Allen called the foul “berating an official.”

“I was just clapping my hands,” Talib said. “Everybody in the stadium was clapping their hands. I was 10 yards away from the guy, clapping my hands. He didn’t like it. He threw a flag.

“A hard clap. Like there’s something in the rule book for too hard of a clap. A too-hard-of-a-clap flag? That’s the one I got.”

The Colts accepted the penalty and quarterback Andrew Luck took a knee on the next play to end the game.

Broncos coach Gary Kubiak said Talib must stay composed.

“Both sides are talking, and you have to handle your business,” Kubiak said. “So that’s on me, and I’ve got to make sure if he’s out there he’s got to handle his business.”

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