Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule issued a statement following a second consecutive day of fights between the New England Patriots and Panthers.
Tensions ran high on the practice field Wednesday afternoon. Several players were ejected, including defensive end Deatrich Wise. Both teams had lengthy huddles following practice, per NESN’s Zack Cox.
It was another chaotic day in what has been a physical group of practices between the two teams. All of this is leading up to Friday’s contest, as the Patriots take on the Panthers for the second time in less than a year. New England won their regular season game by a 24-6 margin last November.
Rhule made his stance on the fights very clear following Wednesday’s practice.
“I know a lot of it will be about what happened. The decision of one or two guys impacts a lot of different people,” Rhule said. “Number one: My thoughts are with the woman that was hurt over there, hoping that she’s okay. I don’t have any update on that, but I’m hoping she’s okay. And obviously, we sent Kenny [Robinson] off the field.
“I didn’t really see the hit, but I did see him standing over the player. And that’s not how we want to practice, right? Things happen in football. There were some good, clean hits. But we don’t stand over somebody and taunt them. It can affect their livelihood. So we sent him off. The officials sent Chuba [Hubbard] off. I don’t know what Chuba did, but the officials sent Chuba off—said he threw a punch.”
Panthers coach Matt Rhule on the fights at joint practice with Patriots pic.twitter.com/cYFaZAgPso
— Ellis L. Williams (@BookofEllis) August 17, 2022
All of this sets the stage for what should be an entertaining contest on Friday night. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. ET.