Any time two NFL teams take the same practice field, the action inevitably intensifies. Occasionally, tempers flare, and both 90-man rosters converge, as was the scene Monday in steamy Foxborough, Mass., where the Patriots are currently hosting the Bears for training camp.
According to Albert Breer for TheMMQB.com, it was Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler going at it with Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery in a star-studded duel that ignited the larger scuffle. Details are unclear, but Butler was no longer at practice afterward.
Another skirmish broke out during field goal drills and NFL Network’s Courtney Fallon claims Patriots lineman Nate Solder was involved.
For what it’s worth, the Patriots reinforced their roster in the offseason with a pair of Bears defections, tight end Martellus Bennett and linebacker Shea McClellin. No word on any potential involvement with their former teammates. There did not seem to be any injuries stemming from the incident either.
Fights happen at training camp all the time, and whether they’re in-house or against an opponent, typically there isn’t much reason to read into them. Granted, it’s not often between a pair of Pro Bowl players.
The Patriots-Bears’ joint practices will culminate with a preseason matchup Thursday, and tensions could be a little higher once the two sides start hitting each other.