Multiple fights break out at Patriots-Panthers joint practice
The New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers are holding joint practices this week ahead of their preseason matchup, and tempers flared during the first session.
Several players were ejected from practice on Tuesday after multiple fights broke out. The first appeared to start after Patriots wide receiver Kristian Wilkerson caught a pass near the Carolina bench. Some jawing back and forth turned physical, and several Patriots players ran over to get involved. Reporters who were in attendance said Wilkerson had his helmet ripped off during the melee and teammate Kendrick Bourne threw punches at Panthers players.
Kristian Wilkerson finished a catch in the Carolina bench and a few Panthers DBs had a couple extra words and bumps for him, as they did in the prior drill.
Both teams swarmed on to the field, Wilkerson had his helmet ripped off and Kendrick Bourne threw a few punches.
— Andrew Callahan (@_AndrewCallahan) August 16, 2022
The Panthers we’re getting chippy with Kristian Wilkerson and James Ferentz prior to the fights.
DBs wouldn’t let go of Wilkerson after one catch. Next time he gets the ball, it’s the same thing but when he said something, a coach on Carolina pushed him.
— Mark Daniels (@MarkDanielsPJ) August 16, 2022
You can see the two teams swarming together in the video below:
HUGE fight taking place, started with shoving and ended with a lot of punches being thrown. Both fields were cleared. Chaos in Foxboro. pic.twitter.com/BU2YrzEVAE
— Ethan Hurwitz (@HurwitzSports) August 16, 2022
The first scrum led to Bourne, Wilkerson, and Panthers defensive back Kenny Robinson being kicked off the field. A few plays later, there was another heated incident between Patriots offensive lineman James Ferentz and Panthers defensive tackle Phil Hoskins. Both players were also ejected by one of the officials overseeing the joint practice.
Patriots C James Ferentz and Panthers DT Phil Hoskins kicked out of practice by referee Brad Allen after things got a little heated near the end of a play.
Ferentz was pleading his case that he didn’t throw a punch, but Allen wouldn’t relent.
Now BB calls team meeting.
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) August 16, 2022
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and Panthers head coach Matt Rhule called their players together after the second fight and told everyone to knock it off.
There is no known bad blood between the two teams, but this certainly is not the first time we have seen things get heated during a joint practice.