A joint practice between the New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers descended into a brawl that left a fan injured and led to several players being ejected from the field.
The Panthers’ All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey became incensed after what he considered a cheap hit by New England Patriots defensive lineman Deatrich Wise Jr on the sidelines. McCaffrey threw the ball at Wise and a scuffle ensued that involved several players and travelled into the stands.
Wise and Panthers running back Chuba Hubbard were kicked out of the session. Panthers cornerback Kenny Robinson was also thrown out of the session after a hit on Kristian Wilkerson that sparked another fight. He had been ejected on Tuesday for fighting.
The 275lb Wise also fell on a fan during the incident. The woman suffered a swollen foot but insisted she did not need medical treatment. Wise and McCaffrey gave personal apologies to the fan and the Patriots gave her free tickets to a game in the upcoming season.
Teams regularly hold joint practice sessions during preseason and scuffles and confrontations are a common occurrence as players compete for places on the roster.
“Both teams are trying to get better and establish a pace for the year, so I’m not surprised at all,” Patriots safety Kyle Dugger said after Wednesday’s practice.