The NFL suspended Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch one game for unsportsmanlike conduct in Thursday night's game against the Kansas City Chiefs, because he made contact with a referee.

The referee was trying to stop a melee that did not involve Lynch, who came from the bench area to join the scuffle.

When a referee tried to restrain Lynch, he shoved the official. That led to a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and an ejection. Lynch reportedly watched the rest of the game from the stands.

Lynch has appealed his suspension, according to ESPN. If the appeal is not successful, Lynch will sit out the Oct. 29 game against the Buffalo Bills.

Raiders left tackle Donald Penn told that Lynch came into the fracas to protect Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters because he is Lynch's cousin.

The scuffle began when Raiders quarterback Derek Carr was hit late by Peters on a Carr scramble.

According to, Jon Runyan, the NFL vice president of football operations, said in a letter to Lynch: "You made deliberate physical contact with one of our game officials as he was diffusing an active confrontation between players. You were disqualified for your inappropriate and unsportsmanlike actions. Your conduct included pushing the game official and grabbing his jersey."

Runyan noted Lynch was "the only player from either team who ran from the sideline to midfield to insider himself into a situation in which he was not directly involved."

Lynch had two carries for 9 yards on Thursday, and he has 266 yards and a 3.7 yards-per-carry average for the season.