The Baltimore Ravens have been working some serious overtime this week in an effort to clear Marlon Humphrey's name Odell Beckham Jr. during over the Ravens on Sunday. With just under three minutes left to play in the third quarter, the two players got into a spat that ended with Beckham on the ground and Humphrey on top of him. What happened next is that the Ravens corner went viral thanks to an image that appeared to show him choking Beckham.
Although it definitely looked like Humphrey was choking Beckham, the Ravens have released some compelling footage that shows otherwise. The new footage from the team also shows that Beckham may have been the instigator of the fight, which led to four players being called for four offsetting unnecessary roughness penalties. First, let's look at the original footage that went viral.
In footage of the melee that was shown on CBS, it was pretty clear that Beckham started the fracas by throwing a punch at Humphrey.
The punch was so egregious that Humphrey thought Beckham deserved to be thrown out of the game.
"I definitely told the referee he should have been ejected," Humphrey said, via the Ravens' official website. "But it is what it is. Emotions flare. I enjoy going against a top guy like that."
In the footage released by the Ravens (which you can check out by clicking here), Beckham follows up the punch by grabbing Humphrey's facemask. At that point, Humphrey retaliated by grabbing Beckham's jersey.
In the video released by the Ravens, Humphrey was still clinching Beckham's jersey as the two players fell to the ground.
In the Ravens' video, you can also see that Humphrey never stopped clinching his fist, which means it's more than likely he was still grabbing Beckham's jersey while the two were on the ground, meaning it only looked like he was choking Beckham due to the camera angle from the game. Here's what the "choke" looked like with the Ravens' close-up footage.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh saw the incident happen live and he has no idea why Humphrey was flagged on the play. According to Harbaugh, Humphrey was only defending himself after "about three or four things happened."
"I'm not exactly sure why [Humphrey] got the foul, but I'm sure they'll tell us what they thought they saw," Harbaugh said after the game. "Based on the close up, the footage that we had, [Humphrey] pinned him [Beckham] on the ground after about three or four things happened."
Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens ripped the officiating crew after the game for not ejecting Humphrey. It's not clear if Kitchens has seen the new angle, but he was so irate about what he saw in the game that he was ready to call Al Riveron afterward to find out why no one was ejected.
"I saw what you saw," Kitchens said, via ESPN.com. "He was getting choked on the ground. They get away with that because it's Odell. I'm going to be on the phone with Al (Riveron, NFL senior vice president of officiating) when I get on the bus."
As for the officiating crew, they had a close-up view of the chaos and they smartly decided not to eject anyone.
"We didn't see anything on the field that rose to the level of a disqualifying foul," Referee Shawn Hochuli said. "When New York looked at it, they didn't see anything, either, that rose to the level of a qualifying foul."
As for Beckham, he was just disappointed that he left the game with one less earring than he came with.
"It's hot out there. We're just competing," Beckham said. "I'm just upset that I lost my earring."
In light of the new footage, it will be interesting to see if the NFL punishes either player. At the very least, Beckham, who only caught two passes for 20 yards in the win and had been held without a catch up to the point when the fight happened, could be facing a potential fine from the NFL for throwing a punch.