The San Francisco 49ers are into day two of their training camp and we have our first fight. It involves rookie wide receiver Jalen Hurd.
Well actually, we have our first and second fight—both with Hurd. The beat writers are reporting that Hurd channeled his inner Piston Honda and took some swings. Rob Lowder later went on to say there was a second fight with Hurd where they went to the ground and had to get broken up. Details on who started what or how things escalated are a bit unclear.
One of the combatants was Antone Exum, the other was Dontae Johnson. It’s a bit murky on which fight had which fighter selected, but Hurd was in on them both.
Matt Barrows later said that some defensive backs were taking exception to Hurd’s “tough blocking downfield.” Rob Lowder later tweeted out (via Eric Crocker) that both fights were a result of his physical blocking. More should come out on what all this was about in Kyle Shanahan’s press conference.
Training camp fights are going to happen. Tempers are high, as is stress. There’s 37 people who aren’t going to have jobs in a month and that would make anyone unable to think straight. The funny thing is, the 49ers have, for all intents and purposes, been described as a very unified unit and get along well. Hurd is a rookie and the fact that he’s been involved in not one, but two fights does raise an eyebrow. Right now, it sounds like it’s more the rookie showing the veterans a thing or two. If this has something to do with his aggressive blocking, that will go over better with the coaching staff if they were to decide to discipline him.
Right now it’s nothing to make judgment calls on, but John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan have stressed the need for high character players and protecting the team. Players turning the football field into a Tekken match the second day of practice isn’t exactly what they may have in mind.