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Tempers flared in a big way at Tuesday’s joint practice between the New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers.
At least four players were ejected from the joint practice on Tuesday after multiple fights occurred between the two teams.
The first incident, which occurred when Patriots wide receivers Kendrick Bourne and Kristian Wilkerson got into it with Panthers defensive back Kenny Robinson, resulted in all three players being sent off.
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A second fight occurred shortly after between Patriots offensive lineman James Ferentz and Panthers defensive tackle Phil Hoskins, with Hoskins being sent to the showers early.
“What me and coach (Bill) Belichick talked about, if a fight happens, we’ll throw those guys off and hopefully eliminate future fights,” Panthers head coach Matt Rhule said, according to the Panthers website. “We came here not to fight; we came here to practice. It shows the maturity of a lot of other guys that it didn’t escalate into a big thing. For us, it’s a couple of younger guys. We’re here to get better. We don’t want anyone to get hurt. We wanted to stay off the ground and work today.”
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As with most joint practices during training camp, the intensity was high, as each team had the chance to go against someone other than their teammates.
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“I don’t really have anything to say about that,” Ty Montgomery of the Patriots said, according to New England’s website. “Everybody saw what happened. Fights happen. It is what it is.”
“You can’t fight in a game and you can’t do it in practice,” New England’s Damien Harris added.
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New England and Carolina will hold their second joint practice on Wednesday and will play each other in each team’s second preseason game on Friday.