Training camp skirmishes aren’t uncommon – under the heat of the summer sun, as players fight to show supremacy and battle rep after rep, things can get intense, especially now that they’re able to wear pads.
And when you mix in the dynamic of a new, high-paid free agent matched up against his team’s top receiver the past few years, it heightens the situation.
Such was the cauldron that bubbled over on Tuesday, when New England Patriots receiver Julian Edelman and cornerback Stephon Gilmore scrapped on the fields behind Gillette Stadium, where the team holds its training camp. And this sounds and looks like it was more than the usual pushing and shoving.
According to reporters who were at practice, the fight happened after an incomplete pass in the end zone. Edelman was frustrated by Gilmore’s tight coverage, and the two started swinging, with Edelman getting on top of Gilmore, as photos from fan Shaun Ganley show:
(Ganley has several other photos as well.)
Edelman had to be dragged away by a team staffer. Both players lost their helmets during the fight.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who doesn’t abide by training camp fights, kicked both Edelman and Gilmore out of practice.
A few years ago, when New England held some joint practices with the Philadelphia Eagles, he booted Aaron Dobson from the field even though Eagles corner Cary Williams deliberately goaded Dobson.
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