FOXBORO, Mass. — Fighting is a rarity in New England Patriots training camp, except, apparently, for when the Chicago Bears come to town.
The Patriots and Bears have engaged in close to a half-dozen skirmishes of varying intensities during their first two joint practice sessions, resulting in the ejections of two New England players and the removal of a few Chicago players from drills.
“I think it’s just the competitiveness,” Patriots wide receiver Chris Hogan said after Tuesday’s practice. “This is another team, and we’re a couple of weeks away from finishing training camp. We’ve been doing it, and that’s what happens. Guys out here are trying to compete. Guys are competing, and tempers flare a little bit, but that’s football. We’ll get back to it, and we’ve just got to keep working hard.”
A Bryan Stork-Woodrow Hamilton tiff back in organized team activities had been the only Patriots scrap of the summer before this week. The Bears, on the other hand, have fought among themselves with almost alarming regularity during camp.
Regardless, Hogan said he doesn’t expect any bad blood to spill over into Thursday night’s preseason game at Gillette Stadium.
“No, because I think you’ll get thrown out of the game for that kind of stuff,” Hogan said. “I don’t think anyone’s trying to take that fine. I think we’ll be able to keep competing during the game.”
The Patriots and Bears will hold one more joint practice Wednesday — expected to be a walkthrough — before their exhibition tilt.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images
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