This time of year, fights in training camp are common. It’s hot, guys are tired and jobs are on the line so the intensity is ramped all the way up, especially in joint practices when players get to hit someone other than their teammates for a change. The Las Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Rams now have first-hand experience with this, as the Raiders loaded up the busses and headed back to the hotel after a brawl in today’s practice.
Looks like the Raiders are getting on their buses and heading back to the hotel after a big, prolonged fight with the Rams in the joint practice, which still had about 45 minutes left. Not a lot of good competition yet today, which is too bad.— Greg Beacham (@gregbeacham) August 19, 2021
As Greg Beacham of the Associated Press noted above, there were about 45 minutes left in practice when Las Vegas exited, and knowing Jon Gruden, I’m sure he wasn’t happy to be leaving the football field early.
Before the team even headed down to Los Angeles, Gruden did say he wanted clean work and no fighting against the Rams, who had a few run-ins during joint practices with the Cowboys the week before. So, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that the coach pulled his team off the field.
The Athletic’s Vic Tafur asked Gruden about the fights in practice, to which the coach replied: “No idea what happened, but I had enough of that crap. Not good for football.”
Tafur also reported that Yannick Ngakoue and Maxx Crosby were seen throwing punches, and Darren Waller emerged from the mess with a torn jersey.
While the reason the skirmish started is unclear, it’s worth noting that Raiders linebacker Nicholas Morrow and guard Richie Incognito went down with injuries shortly before the fight began, so tensions might have been heightened.
Los Angeles continued to practice after Las Vegas’ departure, and of course, the two teams will see each other again on Saturday. Hopefully, things will calm down by then and the game is hard-fought but clean.