Brawls End NFL Teams' Joint Practice

Several fights erupt during Rams-Raiders workout
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 19, 2021 6:29 PM CDT
Raiders, Rams Can't Practice Nice Together
Raiders coach Jon Gruden watches during a preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks last week in Las Vegas.   (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

The Los Angeles Rams' second joint practice with the Las Vegas Raiders ended early on Thursday when the teams had a prolonged brawl. The fight began during special teams work, and it started and stopped several times before coaches Sean McVay and Jon Gruden decided to scrap the remaining periods of practice, which had been scheduled to last for another 45 minutes. "Everybody knows better," Gruden said. "It wasn't everybody fighting. It'll be on TV. You'll see a bunch of guys screaming and yelling, but it was two guys in a special teams period, and then it was a lot of trash talking that just escalated. Just sickening, really, it's just stupidity." The culprits weren't easily identified in the mass of players working on punt blocking and punt coverage outside the Rams' training complex, the AP reports, but punches appeared to be thrown by both teams.

Gruden and McVay weren't pleased by the disruption to the practice plan for the Raiders and the Rams, who will meet in a preseason game Saturday at SoFi Stadium. When the fight finally calmed, Gruden could be heard ordering his players off the field: "To the bus!" McVay called the skirmish "unfortunate." The Rams finished up the practice against themselves while the Raiders boarded buses to their hotel. "It felt like the best decision, just based on kind of the temperature of the situation," McVay said. All-Pro Aaron Donald took a rest day for the Rams, but he wasn’t surprised to see what happened from the sideline. “It’s football, man,” Donald said. “Honestly, every joint practice I’ve ever been a part of, there’s always a fight." The teams had a few minor scraps in Wednesday's first practice but nothing that significantly interrupted the flow.

(More NFL stories.)

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