While they close in on just the third perfect season in NFL history, the Carolina Panthers faced another round of allegations Wednesday about their purported role in triggering New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr.’s cheap shots and penalties last weekend.
Giants coach Tom Coughlin said there is more than one villain in the drama. He accused the Panthers of instigating the situation.
“Beckham certainly was wrong and we said he was wrong from day one,” Coughlin said. “But there were factors involved starting in pregame which are well-documented, which indicate that there was an attempt to provoke him.”
Giants punter Brad Wing says he heard Panthers practice squad safety Marcus Ball threaten Beckham before Sunday’s game, during which Beckham picked up three personal fouls that resulted in a one-game suspension. He lost his appeal Wednesday.
Wing was within earshot of Beckham during warm-ups and said he heard Ball tell Beckham: “I’ll be the reason you don’t play today. ... And other days.”
Wing said he considered it a legitimate threat and noted Ball was carrying a bat, which the Panthers — and other teams — have used as a motivational prop.
Ball suggested he’d been falsely accused.
The NFL fined cornerback Josh Norman for his role in the altercations with Beckham. Norman was fined $8,681 for grabbing Beckham’s face mask and $17,363 for hitting him in the head or neck area, according to a source. He is expected to appeal.
Broncos coach Gary Kubiak informed the team Wednesday that Brock Osweiler will make his sixth straight start Monday night against the Bengals.
Peyton Manning hasn’t played since Nov. 15 because of a torn plantar fascia in his left foot.
Denver still has a shot at the top seed in the AFC but also could miss the playoffs altogether.
... Saints coach Sean Payton said Wednesday that it remains unclear whether quarterback Drew Brees will play in Sunday’s home finale against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Brees injured his right foot in Monday night’s loss to Detroit, but never missed a snap.
... The Giants have re-signed safety Brandon Meriweather.