All 32 teams are now into the padded practice portion of camp, i.e. they have the pads on and they hitting each other. That means the intensity level at NFL training camps has officially been dialed up. It also meant fights!
Nobody has been hurt because of fighting, yet.
The Bengals can probably credit luck for part of that since the fight at their practice started with Vontaze Burfict diving at Gio Bernard’s knees, which ranks as the dumbest fight in any camp so far.
But we’ve got a variety of them, from a minor scuffle to one that actually resulted in bleeding. We’ll keep the rankings updated as the fights continue.
1. Titans fan vs. Titans fan
We have a new pair of pugilists atop the leader board, and they don’t even play for a team. Two Titans fans got into it during the team’s scrimmage. I’m not sure why the guy in the “Keep Calm” shirt has Batman’s phone, but the t-shirted crusader bloodies the guy’s lip with a big right to the mouth after getting shoved.
Can we appreciate the fact that a dude in a "Keep Calm" shirt was involved in a fight in the stands? pic.twitter.com/6YBXH4xdlG— Josh Sánchez (@jnsanchez) August 6, 2017
More punches were landed in this dustup than any of the training camp fights on the field between players. The best part is the guy running away. It’s definitely going to be a big year in Tennessee.
2. Rams vs. Chargers brawl
We’ve got a brawl!
Joint practices are supposed to be a sneaky way teams get some extra work within the limitations on their practice time. Does it work? Who knows. What we do know is that there is always a brawl.
Rams corner Trumaine Johnson shoved Chargers receiver Dontrelle Inman. Benches cleared, mostly, thereafter.
Credit Keenan Allen with the takedown of the year so far.
Wait, are we sure Jeff Fisher isn’t still coaching this team? Because this kind of stuff was the one place where he could get the Rams to excel.
3. Julian Edelman vs. Stephon Gilmore
The Patriot Way includes no shortcuts. New England’s new corner was reportedly holding Edelman, who took exception and wrestled him to the ground. It looked more like a hockey fight. Helmets came off and they tussled around for a little bit before finally being separated.
Bill Belichick threw them out of practice. Asked about the fight by SB Nation’s Thomas George, an older, wiser Rob Gronkowski explained why he avoids practice field scuffles.
4. Frank Clark vs. Germain Ifedi
Seahawks practices have a reputation for being tense in the first place. And fights in the trenches between offensive and defensive linemen at camp aren’t all that unusual. Defensive tackle Frank Clark crossed the line on Thursday, Aug. 3. Punches were thrown, or at least one punch was thrown and landed.
It started with two other linemen pushing and shoving. In the ensuing scuffle, Clark decked Ifedi, who ended up on the ground with a bloody mouth.
That was Clark’s second fight in camp this year and his third with a teammate (going back to Week 17 last season).
5. T. Y. Hilton vs. Vontae Davis
This one sounded less like a fight and more like branding exercise. The Colts, you see, want to get tougher this year so they’re having tougher practices, whatever that means.
A drill matched up the team’s top receiver and top corner; jawing ensued. They weren’t done. Hilton beat Davis to score not long after that, and they locked up again. No punches were thrown, and it didn’t take long for their teammates and coaches to intervene. Davis managed to stay on top of the receiver after the two went down, so we’ll give him the win.
6. Vontaze Burfict vs. the rest of the Bengals
The Bengals weren’t supposed to be tackling for this particular drill, but since when has that stopped Burfict. He tackled running back Gio Bernard and went low for his knees. Bernard just started practicing because he’s been recovering from a torn ACL last season.
Burfict’s tackle didn’t sit well with his teammates, and that led to a larger scrum. A coach even got pushed during the spat. Tight end Tyler Eifert went the extra mile, and he kept jawing with the linebacker after the rest of the players had moved on.
After practice, they waved it off as the typical camp intensity. Head coach Marvin Lewis was more blunt, telling reporters “pushing and shoving is a waste of time.”
7. Noah Spence vs. Cole Gardner
This is your typical training camp fight. Things get heated, there’s a brief physical encounter, and the rest of the teams steps in to break it up.
The thing that gets me about this one is Spence punching Gardner in the helmet. It’d be awfully embarrassing to break your hand because you punched a teammate’s hard plastic lid. Maybe not as embarrassing as when Washington’s former GM broke his hand punching a wall after hearing that one of his players was injured last year. But way more embarrassing than when quarterback Jim Harbaugh broke his hand punching Jim Kelly.