Fights among teammates are an inevitable part of any NFL training camp. Football, by nature, is an aggressive sport, and players who are hot while practicing under the August sun are bound to annoy each other while participating in drills and one-on-one battles.
On Friday, San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan found himself addressing the fact that he had to halt practice multiple times this past Tuesday due to skirmishes, including a heated one involving wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk and linebacker Fred Warner. As Ethan Greenberg noted for the New York Jets’ website, Gang Green wasn’t immune from player quarrels on Friday. Specifically, fullback Nick Bawden and linebacker Kwon Alexander exchanged unpleasantries after Alexander delivered somewhat of a high tackle on running back Michael Carter.
Jets head coach Robert Saleh said he’s not bothered by such incidents as long as his players follow his well-known guideline heading into next Friday’s preseason opener at the Philadelphia Eagles.
“One rule, no punching,” Saleh told reporters. “They’re going to push, they’re going to shove, it’s going to happen. They’re sick of each other. I’m sick of hearing the same calls from the coordinators, and I think everyone is sick of each other at this point in camp. We have one more week before we get to go to Philadelphia and see different humans. Rule 1 — Protect the team, don’t punch. It’s a 15-yard penalty, and you get ejected from the game.”
Shanahan also noted that he reminded his players that fighting on fall Sundays is a no-no because doing so can result in a penalty or an ejection.