Christian McCaffrey at center of second day of brawling between Panthers, Patriots

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The second day of joint practices between the New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers resulted in more fighting and a threat from both coaches to cancel practice.

After Tuesday’s session saw two fights and five player ejections, Wednesday’s session saw Patriots players and coaches up in arms over a hit to Kristian Wilkerson, who was sent to be evaluated off site.. Soon after that, a fight broke out near the crowd. When it was all over, three players (Patriots defensive lineman Deatrich Wise and Panthers running back Chuba Hubbard and safety Kenny Robinson) were kicked out of practice.

The problem started in a full-contact kickoff return drill. It was clear that both sides were getting aggressive with one another as it became common to see players pull their teammates away from potential fights after the whistle was blown. Tempers erupted when Robinson hit Wilkerson hard.

Robinson and Wilkerson were both ejected from Tuesday's practice for fighting.

Although some Patriots said they were unhappy with the hit, Robison angered the New England players by standing over and taunting Wilkerson, who looked seriously injured. Patriots special teams coach Cam Achord immediately ran on the field and confronted Robinson, grabbing him by the jersey. Matthew Slater and Ronnie Perkins also went after Robinson, but no punches were thrown.

Both coaches put an end to that kickoff drill and immediately went to 11-on-11s. That’s when a brawl broke out. On the first rep, Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey took a handoff and ran to the left sideline. Wise, the 6-foot-5 defensive lineman, hit McCaffrey hard near that side line. When the running back popped up, he threw the ball at Wise.

At that point, multiple Panthers players began to fight with Wise, who was sent flying into the front row of the bleachers. According to a Patriots team official, a woman in the front row was injured when a player’s helmet landed on her foot. A medical team was sent to check on her and offered her wheelchair assistance, but the fan said that wasn’t necessary. Her foot was swollen and she was given ice to help. The Patriots offered her tickets to a game of her choice this season.

While that was happening, more fighting broke out around the scrum. Patriots safety Jabrill Peppers threw punches at a Panthers player. This was happening while Wilkerson was still on the ground, being attended to by the Patriots medical staff.

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Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey (22) catches a pass during warmups prior to the Panthers' game against the Washington Commanders at FedExField.
Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey (22) catches a pass during warmups prior to the Panthers' game against the Washington Commanders at FedExField.

When the coaches broke up this scrum, they held quick team meetings on the field. After practice, Panthers coach Matt Rhule said they told their teams that if one more fight broke out, they would cancel practice.

Eventually, Wise, Hubbard and Robinson were kicked out of practice. This marked the second day in a row that Robinson was ejected.

The Patriots and Panthers didn’t fight after that, but were clearly agitated with each other. Patriots defensive lineman Henry Anderson and Moton locked up with each other after one drill later in practice. The Patriots sideline was also upset with an unidentified Panthers defensive back for something he did while covering receiver Josh Hammond. Patriots rookie safety Brenden Schooler also hit Panthers tight end Derek Wright so hard, he needed to be helped off the field.

The Patriots and Panthers will play each other this Friday in their second preseason game.

This article originally appeared on The Providence Journal: New England Patriots brawl with Carolina Panthers for 2nd straight day