Philadelphia — Jason Kelsey called the game.
Near the 90-minute mark of the Philadelphia Eagles’ (only) joint practice with the Indianapolis Colts, Kelsey Zaire bumped Franklin and pushed him to the ground, causing a bench-clearing brawl between the two teams that ended practice. The push was the final straw in what was a physical day between the two teams that saw two brawls in the space of 20 minutes.
“I let my emotions get the better of me,” Kelsey said after Tuesday’s training. “You try to keep things civil on the field and being a guy who keeps the level of emotion and level of play out there, I let my emotions get the better of me.
“It definitely doesn’t belong on the pitch. (I’m) a bit ashamed that it’s reached this level that it’s at. I’m certainly not happy about it.”
The events leading up to the fight stem from the previous play. Kenneth Ginwill caught a pass from Jalen Hurts and Franklin pushed it in late, but Ginwell had a push of his own for revenge. On the next play, Hurts found Ginwill in the middle, as Kelsey decided to hit Franklin and Franklin fell to the ground.
Seats have been cleared and training has ended. For the Eagles, camp is over.
Franklin, a native of Philadelphia, is entering his sixth year NFLI think he deserves a little more respect than he gets.
“I grew up in Philadelphia and watched him play for a long time,” Franklin said. “I have a lot of respect for him.” “I thought the OGs would at least look me in the eye before…but it’s all right. I’ll get a chance to look him in the eye on Thursday (Pre-season gameSo we’ll be fine.”
Ginwell, who was in the middle of the mix, was excited after the scuffle. Kelsey was there to defend him, after all.
“It’s just that Kelsey is Kelsey,” Ginwell said. “Being professional and taking care of his brothers. It means I can trust the guy when we get into the area when I run the ball.”
Tension had been building all day before the fight. Sidney Brown popped Mo Alie-Cox on a ball meant for him, causing an early 11-on-11 incompletion. Deon Cain later caught a tipped pass on Ronnie Harrison and leaned on the Colts’ safety after the play.
Derek Barnett knocked the ball out of Anthony Richardson’s hand on the strip bag, causing some scramble between the Eagles and Colts players. Jalen Carter followed with a sack of his own when the quarterback rolled to his right, stripping the ball from Richardson’s hands, leading to more scrambling. Barnett got into the brawl, which led to both teams’ flags being raised. Barnett and Carter both had to be held back.
In the 11-on-11 full team segment, AJ Brown swept across the middle and was snapped by Julian Blackmon. Brown immediately got up and ran into Blackmon, causing another brawl between the two teams.
Eagles head coach Nick Siriani even got into the game when Kevon Wallace Gardner intercepted Minshaw, but flags were flying across the field. Siriani picked them up after he ran onto the court and yelled at the referee.
Once the Franklin and Gynuel case began, all hell broke loose.
“We’re a team. We’re not going to let anyone come into our house and take over,” Ginwell said. “We will continue to work hard every day. But we yelled at them nonetheless.”
Franklin didn’t mince words for what happened, acknowledging that the Colts got a good job regardless of the scuffle.
“Sometimes your speed isn’t their speed, which makes people feel offended,” Franklin said. “That’s life. We’ll be fine… To be honest, I was looking forward to doing some good work against a good team. We got some good work today, and we’ve got a few things to review.
“But you know, that’s what it is.”
Kelsey did not have a chance to speak with Franklin in the heat of the moment. Once the cold heads settle, the feelings run wild.
“It’s not something I should have done,” said Kelsey, shaking his head in disgust. “It was a cheap shot.” “I’ve had a lot of joint training and nothing like this has ever happened to me. You have more opportunities to control your nerves and think things through.
“I’m thinking very much of the players who were there, including Zaire. He’s a fantastic player – along with all their players up front. They brought a lot of strength, which made the training intense. I guess I just couldn’t handle it”. Things are finally right.”