NFL Punishes Rams Player Involved in Christmas Skirmish, Plus Reaction


Getty From left: Oday Aboushi, Matthew Stafford (middle) and Brian Allen on October 30, 2022 in Inglewood.

While the Los Angeles Rams gained a holiday gift in their 51-14 rout of the Denver Broncos on Christmas Day, the team did lose a player.

Not because of injury. But because guard Oday Aboushi was involved in this skirmish with Randy Gregory of the Broncos following the game:

The league then handed down its punishment toward Gregory and Aboushi on Monday, December 26: Suspending both for one game.

“Broncos pass-rusher Randy Gregory and Rams G Oday Aboushi are suspended one game for punching each other yesterday. The post-game skirmish was one of several ugly scenes in a tough loss,” NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport reported.

And, captured by Andrew Mason of 104.3 FM The Fan in Denver, Gregory himself confessed to hitting Aboushi.

Does Aboushi Have an Option to Appeal?

With two games left, Aboushi is now facing the possibility of missing a rematch with his former team the Chargers on Sunday, January 1 — which got moved out of the primetime slot and will now be a 1:25 p.m. Pacific kickoff at SoFi Stadium. Aboushi was with the Bolts in 2021 as a reserve guard.

However, per Rams insider Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic, Aboushi has the option to appeal along with Gregory.

But in the letter issued by NFL Vice President of Football Operations Jon Runyan, he wrote:

As you were walking toward a group of teammates, coaches, and media, you both stopped and swung at each other’s head or neck. Your aggressive conduct could have caused serious injury and clearly does not reflect the high standards of sportsmanship expected of a professional.

Also per Rodrigue, head coach Sean McVay says the team will appeal Aboushi’s suspension while adding the franchise has been in contact with Runyan.

Per Greg Beacham of the Associated Press, Rams captain and offensive tackle Rob Havenstein gave this response.

“Personally, I don’t think Oday is in the wrong. He got hit first, tried to walk away on several occasions from what I saw. I don’t think it was fair to have the same sentence, I guess, for what happened,” the right tackle said.

Gregory Was Having Rough Outing Before Fight

Tensions appeared to already been boiling between Gregory and the Rams.

The 30-year-old, who is in his first season with the Broncos, got called for a personal foul roughing the passer penalty on Rams quarterback Baker Mayfield. Gregory, who was listed as active for the game after battling a knee injury, ended his day getting just two tackles and one solo stop.

Mayfield himself, while being interviewed by CBS Sports sideline reporter Tracy Wolfson after the game, was near the altercation and can be seen restraining Aboushi.

The Rams’ Bobby Wagner and defensive coordinator Raheem Morris were then seen trying to defuse the situation.

Aboushi, meanwhile, was given a 71.3 pass blocking grade by Pro Football Focus from the Denver rout. Aboushi pass blocked on 30 plays while not allowing a sack or a single QB pressure up his side. He run blocked on 34 plays and scored a 61.9 rating — the second highest among Rams offensive linemen by PFF.

Gregory’s actions, though, became a part of a tumultuous Christmas for the Broncos which included a sideline altercation between backup quarterback Brett Rypien and offensive lineman Dalton Risner during the game and head coach Nathaniel Hackett getting fired after the loss.

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