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NFL’s one-game suspension of Giants’ Odell Beckham Jr. feels a little like a wrist slap

Teammate: Odell Beckham Jr. was threatened Sunday by unidentified bat-wielding man

Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham (13) goes after Panthers defensive back Josh Norman (24)  during the first half.

(Julie Jacobson / Associated Press)

Odell Beckham Jr. got off easy.

The NFL suspended the New York Giants star receiver for one game Monday, a day after he blatantly and repeatedly tried to injure Carolina cornerback Josh Norman.

Beckham, flagged for three personal fouls in Sunday’s 38-35 loss, was caught by TV cameras throwing a punch at Norman and later trying to land a helmet-to-helmet blow.

It was an embarrassing display for a league trying to repair its image in terms of player safety. Beckham paid two hefty fines as a rookie last season: $10,000 for kicking St. Louis linebacker Alec Ogletree and $11,025 for throwing his helmet to the turf in anger while protesting a late tackle out of bounds. Earlier this season, he threw a punch at Buffalo safety Duke Williams and it cost him $8,681.

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There’s no question Beckham is one of the most exciting players in the game. His Matrix-like one-handed touchdown catch last season will go down as one of the most acrobatic plays in NFL history. But Sunday’s spectacle will take some time to live down.

The Giants are barely flickering in the playoff picture. They play the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday night, and already need all sorts of help to sneak into the postseason.

Even though he’ll lose a paycheck worth $52,529, Beckham is fortunate he wasn’t suspended for the final two games of the season.

The NFL and NBC lose more, as one of the reasons they moved that game to prime time in the first place was to showcase one of the best — and evidently most combustible — players in the game.

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No Beckham is good news for the Vikings, who haven’t locked up a playoff berth but have plenty of ways to do so. If they beat the Giants, they’re in. Minnesota would also get a spot if Carolina were to defeat Atlanta, or Seattle beat the Rams.

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It’s likely that five of the six owners on the Committee for Los Angeles Opportunities will have playoff-bound teams: Carolina’s Jerry Richardson, New England’s Robert Kraft, Pittsburgh’s Art Rooney II, Houston’s Bob McNair and Kansas City’s Clark Hunt.

That wouldn’t preclude a vote at the league’s special meeting Jan. 12-13, but it certainly would make for a full plate for those five.

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San Diego’s Philip Rivers was involved in a bizarre play Sunday. He threw a ball 55 yards in the air that was intercepted by Miami, run back, fumbled . . . and wound up back in Rivers’ hands.

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Seattle’s Doug Baldwin had a touchdown drought Sunday that lasted for more than a quarter.

He has 10 touchdown receptions in the last four games. The only other player to do that was Jerry Rice.

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Somebody once told me, “If the quarterback’s not the toughest guy on your team, you’re in trouble.”

Arizona’s Carson Palmer is pretty tough, only wincing as a trainer pulled his badly jammed right index finger back into place so he could get back onto the field against Philadelphia.

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Cardinals rookie running back David Johnson wasn’t a big-ego guy at Northern Iowa. He worked as a dorm handyman in college, and had a summer job as an asbestos-removal worker.

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Jacksonville’s Jason Myers has missed seven extra-point kicks this season.

There were eight such misses in the entire NFL last season, before the league moved the line of scrimmage on PATs back to the 15-yard line.

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Kansas City rookie Marcus Peters, who played at the University of Washington, had a pick-six against Baltimore on Sunday. Considering those purple-and-gold uniforms the Ravens were wearing, Peters must have felt like he was playing in the Huskies spring game.

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Indianapolis has a bunch of fan clubs, including the Blue Stampede, Blue Crew and Blue Ladies.

No cheers Sunday for Houston’s Alfred Blue, though. He ran for 107 yards against the Colts.

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There’s a good chance every playoff team could be decided by the end of Week 16. In that case, only seedings would be determined on the final Sunday.

That, and a possible 16-0 season by Carolina.

sam.farmer@latimes.com

Twitter: @LATimesfarmer


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