If you thought Odell Beckham Jr. should have been ejected from the game Sunday after his helmet-to-helmet hit on Josh Norman, well, so did Dean Blandino.
But if you felt powerless to do anything about it, that’s where you and Blandino take different paths. The NFL’s vice president of officiating was so shocked that Terry McAulay did not disqualify Beckham from the game that he said he spoke to replay official Earnie Frantz on headset at MetLife Stadium and asked him to remind the referee that he could eject players.
McAulay did not. The NFL suspended Beckham for one game Monday. He is appealing the suspension.
“I think when you look at the actions in their entirety, it does warrant an ejection,” Blandino told NFL Network on Tuesday. “Anytime a player is suspended for his actions, [it] would warrant an ejection. We don’t take disqualification lightly. It is a short season and the action really has to raise above and beyond the normal course and this certainly did.”
Blandino noted that though Beckham was the only player suspended, he was not the only culprit.
“It’s certainly an accumulation of instances, and not just on Beckham,” he said. “There was some things on the other side, too, and I think both parties were involved. The officials, if you asked them, they would agree after looking at the tape that ejections were warranted.”
Blandino said the officials had “a really tough job” trying to keep the game civil. He may also have aided Beckham’s appeal, which is certain to claim that the ignoring of clear penalties earlier in the game helped escalate the tensions to the point they reached in the ugly third quarter.
“I think there was a couple of opportunities, for me in looking at the tape, there were two or three opportunities early in the game to throw a flag and set the tone,” Blandino said. “You always want to set the tone early. Not make something up, but when something raising to the level of unnecessary roughness or unsportsmanlike conduct, we can’t miss those opportunities. Because that sets the tone for the entire game.”