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Raiders’ Marshawn Lynch gets 1-game suspension for shoving referee

Updated October 20, 2017 - 5:36 pm

OAKLAND, Calif. — Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch has been suspended one game without pay, rendering him ineligible for an Oct. 29 road meeting with the Buffalo Bills, the NFL announced Friday.

Multiple fines are on the table, too, after Lynch entered from the sideline during Thursday’s 31-30 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs to involve himself in a second-quarter skirmish. At one point, he grabbed and pushed a referee, resulting in a 15-yard flag and automatic ejection. Friday’s suspension was part of an expected league-office response.

Lynch, 31, has exercised his option to appeal the decision. A final ruling is expected next week.

Jon Runyan, NFL vice president of operations, issued the suspension. The league’s announcement of it included a transcript of a letter Runyan wrote to Lynch.

“You made deliberate physical contact with one of our game officials as he was diffusing an active confrontation between players,” Runyan wrote. “You were disqualified for your inappropriate and unsportsmanlike actions. Your conduct included pushing the game official and grabbing his jersey. …

“You were not directly involved in the active confrontation that the game official was attempting to diffuse, nor were you a participant in the play that initiated the confrontation. You were the only player from either team who ran from the sideline to midfield to insert himself into a situation in which he was not directly involved.”

If the suspension stands, Lynch will lose $110,662 in contractual money. The amount stems from the $79,412 in weekly base salary the Raiders no longer owe him for Week 8. The rest is tied to a weekly roster bonus of $31,250. Lynch is ineligible for that figure, given it’s paid out for each game he’s active in the regular season.

More penalties could come.

On Friday morning, before the suspension was announced, an NFL spokesman said the league is considering fines along with a possible suspension.

“There’s a schedule for fines for offenses,” said Joe Lockhart, NFL executive vice president of communications, in a conference call. “There’s physical contact with an official — which is in excess of $30,000 — unsportsmanlike conduct, unnecessarily entering the fight area. Each (has) a schedule of what the fine would be.”

Specifically, physical contact with an official warrants a $30,387 fine. Unnecessarily entering a fight area can cost $6,076. Those two appear fairly straightforward in terms of their applicability to Lynch’s situation.

Lockhart mentioned unsportsmanlike conduct, too. That results in a $12,154 for a first offense and $24,309 second offense. Since Lynch already was fined for a first offense after Week 1 when he directed an obscene hand gesture to Tennessee Titans players, he would be eligible for the latter penalty. Those three fines add up to $60,772.

Before the push, Lynch served as a peacekeeper, separating Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters from teammates. Peters hit quarterback Derek Carr at the end of a third-down shotgun scramble. Lynch and Peters are close friends and Oakland natives. They rode a Bay Area Rapid Transit train from the stadium Thursday evening while being filmed as part of a music video.

After his Thursday ejection, Lynch watched much of the rest of the game from the stands at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. He will be eligible to return to the Raiders’ active roster in the week leading up to a Nov. 5 game at the Miami Dolphins.

Oakland has an empty spot on its 53-man roster in the interim.

Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington are projected to handle the bulk of touches in his absence. Lynch has 72 carries for 266 yards and two touchdowns.

More Raiders: Follow all of our Raiders coverage online at reviewjournal.com/Raiders and @NFLinVegas on Twitter.

Contact reporter Michael Gehlken at mgehlken@reviewjournal.com. Follow @GehlkenNFL on Twitter.

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