EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The New York Giants’ first padded practice of training camp ended Tuesday in a massive midfield donnybrook that brought virtually the entire team into the scrum, saw quarterback Daniel Jones throw himself into the middle of the fracas, and drew the wrath of an absolutely irate coach Joe Judge.
The melee began during the final 11-on-11 period of practice when Corey Clement, after a nice cutback run that launched him into the secondary, got blasted to the ground by Jabrill Peppers. Tight end Evan Engram jumped to Clement’s defense. Defensive back Logan Ryan went after Engram.
Chaos at midfield involving what seemed like every player in uniform ensued.
Judge did not enjoy the proceedings.
The coach broke up the fight with an expletive-filled tirade that lasted several minutes. Players ended up running multiple 100-yard sprints, doing pushups, then repeating the sprints and pushup. All the while they were harangued by an irate head coach.
“You’ve got to know what comes with it,” said Clement. “You better enjoy this fight in the meantime because you know some consequences are coming.”
Fortunately, there were no apparent injuries as a result of the melee.
Jones said he was “all good” after extricating himself from the middle of the fight.
Why did he throw himself into the fracas?
“I’m part of the team, part of the offense and we’re competing,” Jones said. “I don’t see myself separate from them.”
Jones said players “got the message” from Judge’s reaction.
“I think he definitely got his point across, and people understood exactly what he was trying to say,” Jones said.
“There’s a lesson to be learned here and I think guys certainly will.”
At least one of Jones’ offensive teammates appreciated his involvement.
“I love it!,” said Clement. “At the same time, we don’t want a certain quarterback hurt. I hope he thinks twice next time.”
Ryan tried to downplay the ruckus.
“We had a competitive practice,” Ryan said. “Guys were getting after it. Obviously we can’t have that in the game. I think everyone was protecting their sides, and trying to establish a chemistry on the first day.”
Ryan said there won’t be lingering effects.
“We’re great, man, it’s football, you know? It’s a physical sport. If you’re not tough or chippy, I don’t know if you can play at this level. So, it’s football. Everything matters between the lines and we’ll pay our dues, but I mean, we’re great. Me, (tight end) Evan (Engram), we’re locker buddies. We’ll be fine,” Ryan said. “Whoever else was involved, you know, I think (quarterback) Daniel Jones might’ve jumped in. I think everyone respects Daniel. So, this stuff, you might write about it, I’m sure, but this is a football team and practice gets physical and chippy, but everything is left in between the lines for sure.”