The Pittsburgh Steelers had a heated altercation pop off between teammates on Monday and it included two star players, one from offense and one on the defense.
While head coach Mike Tomlin refused to acknowledge the fight, several players and team insiders were able to confirm a scuffle broke out between star wide receiver Chase Claypool and All-Pro safety Minkah Fitzpatrick.
Defensive lineman Tyson Alualu claims the altercation was a product of this year’s hotly-contested preseason.
“I think we’re still in that training camp mode where it’s that competitive edge. People are getting chippy,” Alualu said, per Brian Batko of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I think it’s just part of the game. I don’t think it’s anything you have to look into. It’s part of the game. It’s part of football. But we understand we don’t want — especially our star players — we don’t want anyone getting hurt. We’ve got to be more smart.”
Mike Tomlin was mum when asked about the situation, saying “I have no idea what you’re referring to.”
“I’ll keep it between myself and them,” Tomlin said. “We talk openly about this process, where we are in it, what we need to do to improve daily. We assess days and sometimes, I assess it on site, and sometimes, I assess it on site, as opposed to the next day, because immediate feedback is needed.”
Kevin Dotson also confirmed that it was Claypool and Fitzpatrick that needed to be separated.
“You come out here and you’re pretty much fighting a person for two hours,” he said. “Eventually, something might happen. That’s been happening since little league … If you’re going to compete, competitors are going to fight. They’re two of our biggest competitors. So, I kind of almost expect it to happen at least once.”
Defensive end Chris Wormley agreed that he did not expect there to be an issue with the players involved going forward.
“I think those two guys will make up and they’ll carry on and prepare for Buffalo in Week 1,” he said.