Browns claim Eagles took ‘cheap shots’ at Deshaun Watson
The Philadelphia Eagles and Cleveland Browns got a little chippy during their second joint practice on Tuesday. While that’s not out of the ordinary in joint practices, some Browns felt that the Eagles went overboard.
The Eagles dominated the Browns from the jump in Tuesday’s practice. The reigning NFC champions bounced back after Cleveland looked like the better team in their first joint practice on Monday. Guard Joel Bitonio, however, felt that the Eagles’ Tuesday dominance came with some “cheap shots” against the Browns, particularly on quarterback Deshaun Watson.
“In our practice, you protect the quarterback. You don’t want to come close to the quarterback. You don’t want to take cheap shots,” said Bitonio, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Bitonio singled out a play wherein Eagles defensive end Josh Sweat knocked the ball out of Watson’s hands on a would-be strip sack. The Browns All-Pro stated Sweat was “not supposed to do that” in a practice game where defenses avoid most contact with the QB.
Unsurprisingly, the high-intensity affair on Tuesday also featured a skirmish between both sides following an interception by Eagles safety Reed Blankenship. Blankenship intercepted a pass from Watson and proceeded to steamroll Browns running back Demetric Felton Jr. as the Eagles defender ran the ball the other way. A scuffle ensued as Browns players took exception to the play.
The animosity during practice could lead to a spicier preseason contest than normal as the Browns and Eagles face off on Thursday.