Another day, another fight at joint practices between the New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers.
Following Tuesday’s pair of scraps during practice, the Patriots and Panthers were at it again Wednesday following a contentious pair of plays. The end result was a large scrum among players, three players ejected and both sides’ coaches gathering players to address the fighting.
Trouble started during a kickoff session when Patriots receiver Kristian Wilkerson was hit hard by Panthers defender Kenny Robinson. Wilkerson was down for a while before being carted off the field.
Tensions remained high after the play as the teams moved to 11-on-11 drills. On the first play of drills, Panthers star Christian McCaffery was popped hard by Patriots defensive end Deatrich Wise and sent tumbling out of bounds. McCaffery responded by throwing the ball back at the Patriots, which wound up sparking the brawl.
Wise appeared to draw the ire of Panthers players for his hit on the star running back. Videos from the stands showed Wise in a scrap with Panthers players before being pushed into the front of the stands where fans were seated for practice.
According to NBC Sports’ Tom E. Curran, a woman in the stands was hit on the foot by a helmet during the incident, but refused medical attention. Curran reported that the Patriots medical team came over quickly to check on her, with the team also offering her tickets to a game.
The fracas, which broke out in front of fans in the stands, grew as players ran in from far ends of the field to join the crowd.
Players were eventually separated and gathered around their coaches as Patriots coach Bill Belichick and Panthers coach Matt Rhule both addressed their teams.
After things cooled down, Wise was ejected for the Patriots. Meanwhile, Robinson and running back Chuba Hubbard were tossed for the Panthers.
The teams eventually resumed drills Wednesday as tensions eventually cooled.
Wednesday’s session is the final joint practice between the Patriots and Panthers this week. They’ll face off in their preseason game Friday night at Gillette Stadium.
Story by Nick O’Malley, MassLive.com.