FOXBORO, Mass. — A long day of practice at Gillette Stadium ended with a bit of a dust-up on Tuesday.
After another two-and-a-half hour session in 85-degree heat on Tuesday, Stevan Ridley and Kyle Arrington let their emotions get the best of them and got tangled up in a shoving match — the first real skirmish of camp so far. Bill Belichick immediately ended the practice, whether that was the plan or not, calling all the players to the middle of the field to break down.
Right at the end of practice, Ridley took a handoff from Ryan Mallett and busted out to the right side where Arrington laid a nice lick on the third-year back. Ridley didn’t take too kindly to Arrington’s hit and gave the veteran corner a forceful shove at the end of the play. Arrington responded with a shove of his own and the two got tangled up, exchanging words briefly, before teammates broke up the “fight.”
“That’s camp, man,” Ridley said only minutes later, shrugging it off. “That’s camp.”
Arrington didn’t appear too upset about the scuffle, either, coming off the field very calm and collected and even joking about his bright red shoes. He did sound at least somewhat ticked by the incident when asked about it. But, in the end, he just chalked it up to the long, relentless drain of camp.
“For the most part it’s over with,” Arrington said afterward. “At this point of camp, we’re tired of going up against the same guys everyday. Tempers flare, but it stays on the field.”
Tuesday was the fifth straight practice for the Patriots since they started camp last Friday. The constant grind of it all has clearly taken its toll on some players, which is probably the root of Ridley’s and Arrington’s slap fight on Tuesday. With Wednesday off, the players should come back to practice feeling refreshed and revitalized on Thursday. Although, that doesn’t exactly mean some hard feelings won’t be held over.
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