The Giants will not have Odell Beckham Jr. this week for their game against the Vikings in Minnesota, where they potentially will have to win to keep their NFC East title hopes alive.
The NFL today denied Beckham's appeal of the one-game suspension he received for his actions in the Giants' 38-35 loss to the Carolina Panthers last Sunday. Beckham and cornerback Josh Norman engaged in numerous heated and physical skirmishes which drew a total of five unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, including three on Beckham.
"I appealed my suspension because it is a right granted to all players under the NFL's CBA, and because I owe it to my teammates to do everything I can to be on the field this week," Beckham posted on his Instagram account moments before the decision was announced. "Regardless of the outcome of my appeal, I apologize for my actions on Sunday. I work hard to be great, and accepting the Blessing of having the physical skills to play at this level brings the responsibility to conduct myself in a certain way on and off the field. Sportsmanship and respecting the game are as important as blocking, running routes, and catching the football. I dropped the ball on sportsmanship on Sunday.
"I apologize to my teammates, the Giants organization, and to all fans of the NFL."
Beckham is the Giants' most productive and explosive offensive player, and the team's lone Pro Bowl selection. He leads the Giants with 91 receptions – 40 more than anyone else on the team – for 1,396 yards and 13 touchdowns. In 2014, he was the first Giants player to be selected the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Beckham was suspended on Monday by NFL Vice President of Football Operations Merton Hanks for "multiple violations of safety-related playing rules in Sunday's game against the
Carolina Panthers," according to the NFL.
"Acts that jeopardize the safety of players or expose them to unnecessary risk cannot be tolerated," Hanks said in his letter to Beckham on Monday. One of Beckham's penalties resulted from "a late helmet-to-helmet hit against a defenseless player in which Beckham left his feet prior to contact to spring forward and upward into his opponent (Norman), lowered his helmet and initiated forcible contact with his helmet, and forcibly struck the defenseless player's head."
The suspension was upheld today by appeals officer James Thrash, a former NFL wide receiver.
"I owe some people an apology," Beckham said in a statement. "I wasn't raised to act like I did the other day. I am not here to make excuses for my conduct. This isn't about anything that was said or done to me. This is about my behavior, and I am responsible for my behavior. People expect better from me, and I expect better from myself.
"First of all, I apologize to the organization I represent, the Giants, and our ownership, John Mara and his family and Steve Tisch and his family. And Jerry Reese, who drafted me and gave me the opportunity to be a part of this organization.
"I want to apologize to Giants fans. They want to be proud of us, and proud of players like me who represent their team. What happened the other day was embarrassing to them and embarrassing to me.
"A lot of kids look up to me as a role model. That is a responsibility I accept and take seriously. Many of
the parents of those kids have asked since Sunday what they should say to their children about my conduct. I don't have the perfect answer, but I think one thing they can say is how I handled myself the other day is an example of how not to conduct yourself. I displayed poor sportsmanship. And those parents can also say that when you act like that, there are consequences. And I hope to be an example of somebody who did something wrong and learned from it.
"I owe Coach (Tom) Coughlin, our coaches and my teammates an apology. They have had to answer for my actions, and that's not fair to them. How I conduct myself is my responsibility. I let my coaches and teammates down.
"I am blessed and privileged to play the game I love and I will do all I can to carry myself in a way that honors the game, the NFL, my team, my coaches, all my fans and my family moving forward."
Beckham is not permitted to be at the Giants' Quest Diagnostics Training Center headquarters this week. He will be reinstated on Monday, and he is eligible to play in the Giants' Jan. 3 regular season finale at home vs. Philadelphia.