The Chicago Bears and the New England Patriots kicked of their week of joint practices today in advance of Thursday’s preseason game at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. The original plan was for the teams to get together today and tomorrow, but last week they announced a 3rd joint practice for Wednesday.
On the injury front, the Bears have tight end Zach Miller and wide out Eddie Royal back practicing, and running back Ka’Deem Carey was dressed, but limited as he goes through concussion protocol.
Defensive end Cornelius Washington was resting his knee and ankle that he injured in the 1st preseason game, and rookie ILB Nick Kwiatkoski was also held out of practice with his nagging hamstring injury.
Outside linebacker Pernell McPhee, still on the PUP list, made the trip and is progressing, but corner Kyle Fuller was left home to rest/rehab his knee. I’ll have more on Fuller in tomorrow’s Ten Thoughts on the NFL.
There are a few Bears/Patriots story-line connections to keep an eye on, but none bigger than ex-Bear tight end Martellus Bennett, who took a shot at Bears’ QB Jay Cutler last week.
Bennett warmly met a number of Bears before practice, including head coach John Fox and offensive lineman Kyle Long, but not Cutler.
OMG its like middle school!
Bennett isn’t the only former Bear in New England, they also have Shea McClellin, Brock Vereen and Bear Pascoe. I’ll also have more on McClellin in tomorrow’s Ten Thoughts.
After the midpoint of practice Bears’ WR Alshon Jeffery and Patriots’ corner Malcolm Butler grabbed each others facemask and a fight ensued!
We've got a scuffle. Starts with Alshon and Malcolm Butler. Grabbed face masks. Butler kicked out of practice pic.twitter.com/wsCADccyg0— EvanFitzgerald Fox32 (@EvanWFitzgerald) August 15, 2016
Butler was sent to the locker room after the skirmish, as the Patriots have a strict no fighting policy, however Jeffery stuck around to watch practice.
This next picture was taken from the Twitter of the NFL Network’s Courtney Fallon, but the tweet was deleted for some reason.
Check out Bears’ OLB Lamarr Houston corralling 2 Patriots in that pic above.
Do you guys remember what happened the last time Houston was on the field with the Patriots?
Highlights of #Bears-Pats fight include Josh Bellamy throwing punches and George McCaskey caught in middle on growing scrum.— Adam Jahns (@adamjahns) August 15, 2016
Not kidding, Jeffery & Butler scrapped near sideline in front of Bears chairman George McCaskey, who came onto field to separate them. (2/2)— Rich Campbell (@Rich_Campbell) August 15, 2016
Guys, I think George McCaskey might be a bad-ass.
"I just happened to be standing right there.” McCaskey nonchalantly said after practice. “It was no big deal." When asked what compelled him to get in between the two pro athletes, McCaskey added, "To protect our guy."
Belichick and #Bears coach John Fox not happy about what just unfolded, obviously. TE Greg Shruggs instigated the aftermath— Kyle DaLuz (@Kyle_DaLuz) August 15, 2016
Interesting to note that Ted Larsen wasn’t mentioned once when it came to the fight or the aftermath, or the other fight later in practice.
Another fight you say!?!
Yes, more on that later!
I’m not sure how true the next Tweet is, but I thought it was funny enough to share.
Now on to some actual tweets about the practice...
Since both teams have their beat reporters there covering the practices this week, we’ll sprinkle in some Tweets from New England's reporters as well as our usual round up of Bears’ beat guys.
Alshon Jeffery w/ nice stop-n-go move on Malcolm Butler. Made great catch with ball thrown only where he could get it in 1-on-1s. #Patriots— Kyle DaLuz (@Kyle_DaLuz) August 15, 2016
Martellus Bennett with a drop with #Bears rookie OLB Leonard Floyd in coverage. Catch would have been TD.— Adam Jahns (@adamjahns) August 15, 2016
Practicing against the explosive New England offense is a good ting for the Bears, but one of the Pats’ best players, tight end Rob Gronkowski, is done for the day.
Martellus Bennett makes bobbled catch over the middle vs #Bears No. 2 defense. Chris Prosinski in coverage.— Adam Jahns (@adamjahns) August 15, 2016
#Patriots still dropping passes. Bennett and Hogan were the two during last 7 v 7 drill.— Carmine Carcieri (@carminecsju) August 15, 2016
Somehow Bennett dropping passes will be Cutler’s fault.
Beautiful wheel route from Brady to Bolden for a long TD. New #Bears LB Danny Trevathan got burned— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) August 15, 2016
Both first team offenses end 2 min drills with field goals. #Bears QB Jay Cutler should have picked off by CB Justin Coleman tho.— Adam Jahns (@adamjahns) August 15, 2016
#Bears WR Cameron Meredith catches a pass on Logan Ryan in coverage. Ryan shoves him into a crowd of Bears along sideline. Little chiiiippy.— Courtney Fallon (@CourtneyFallon_) August 15, 2016
As for the No. 2s, Patriots score (highlight reel play) and #Bears QB Brian Hoyer gets picked off.— Adam Jahns (@adamjahns) August 15, 2016
And then just when you think the chippiness has died down, another wee skirmish breaks out!
Another scrum breaks out during #Patriots FG drills. This bout featured Lamarr Houston vs what looked like Nate Solder.— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) August 15, 2016
Lamarr Houston is regulating today!
And that’s a wrap...
Curious how the Bears’ offense fared, then look no further that this tweet to draw your own conclusion.
#Patriots defense also had to do the sled drill across one whole practice field.— Kyle DaLuz (@Kyle_DaLuz) August 15, 2016
Wait a minute, there was another spat after practice?!?
If you guys come across any other interesting nuggets from practice, be sure to share them in the comment section.