Elgton Jenkins tossed out of Packers-Bengals joint practice for fighting
CINCINNATI — Takeaways from the Green Bay Packers’ joint practice with the Cincinnati Bengals on Wednesday:
Elgton Jenkins gets the boot
The last thing teams want in a joint practice is a fight that could end up injuring anyone, let alone a key starter. But in Wednesday’s practice, one of the Packers’ best players, guard Elgton Jenkins, got into two skirmishes, the second of which got him thrown out of practice by coach Matt LaFLeur.
Bengals linebacker Germaine Pratt was the clear instigator in Jenkins’ first fight. Jenkins had blocked Pratt to the ground on a middle screen pass. When Pratt got up, he barked at Jenkins, then threw a punch at him. Jenkins reacted by going hard after Pratt, and that quickly led to a big scrum involving players from both teams that took about a minute to break up.
Jenkins was the clear instigator in the second fight, on the first play of the next team period. Jenkins was blocking defensive lineman DJ Reader on the back side of a pass play. The two hit the ground and then tussled as they got up, and Jenkins then took a swing at Reader as a teammate tried to separate the two.
It was hard to tell if Jenkins’ punch at Reader was with an open or closed hand, but either way taking a swing at a player wearing a helmet is a good way to break your hand. It’s also an automatic ejection if done in a game.
“It takes a little bit away from practice, but Elgton totally was in the right the first time, I’m not going to say otherwise,” tackle David Bakhtiari said. “Have to protect yourself, emotions get high. I know he’ll never do it in a game, he’s never done it in a game. Practice is a little bit different. You know you shouldn’t, but you also know there’s no consequences.”
Jenkins was pulled from the rest of the team period after the first fight. LaFleur threw him out of practice after the second one. Reader insinuated that he’d been getting the best of Jenkins in practice.
“The guy’s just mad,” Reader said after practice. “When you’re not winning the way you want to and you feel like you’re that guy, that’s what happens, guys get mad, attitudes, pissed. But if you’re that guy, you go out there and win and don’t worry about that kind of stuff. When you think you’re that guy and you’re out there losing, I’m sure it can change your attitude real quick.”
Packers’ starting defense not tested
If last year’s joint practices with the New Orleans Saints showed anything, it’s not to make too much of the Packers’ defense outplaying an otherwise starting offense being run by its No. 2 quarterback.
Last year, Saints starter Jameis Winston didn’t practice against the Packers because of an injury, and the Packers’ domination of the Saints in those practices turned out to not be a sign that the Packers were going to have one of the league’s better defenses.
On Wednesday, the Bengals were missing Joe Burrow (strained calf), who’s probably the second-best quarterback in the NFL. The Packers’ starting defense badly outplayed the Bengals’ starters, but they were going against Jake Browning and Trevor Siemian, who are battling for the No. 2 quarterback job.
Browning, who played in college at Washington, was on the Bengals’ practice squad the past two years and has never taken a snap in an NFL game. Siemian is 13-17 as an NFL starter.
The Packers held Browning to 1-for-5 passing in the first segment of the first team period, including Rasul Douglas breaking up an out route to starting receiver Tyler Boyd on the first snap, and Browning overthrowing Ja’Mar Chase against rookie cornerback Carrington Valentine on the next snap.
The Packers’ starters had only a little tougher time against Siemian in that period. Douglas gave up a completion on a slant to Stanley Morgan, and Boyd later caught a slant that was just out of the reach of linebacker De’Vondre Campbell and that would have been a nice gain. But the Packers also nearly picked off Siemian on a high throw over the middle that was deflected and hit the ground.
In a third-down period later in practice, the Packers held Browning to only one first down on five tries. Corey Ballentine broke up one pass, Kenny Clark had a sack on another, and backup cornerback Shemar Jean-Charles probably would have had a sack on a blitz from the slot on another.
The Packers’ starters went up against Siemian in the 2-minute and kept the Bengals from getting across midfield.
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Packers bits and pieces
Anders Carlson went 7-for-10 kicking for the day. One of his misses was an extra point. Another was a 56-yarder into a slight breeze, and the final one was a 60-yarder against the breeze that was a couple yards short at the end of Jordan Love’s 2-minute drill.
Cornerback Jaire Alexander hasn’t taken part in team drills in back-to-back practices. Alexander doesn’t appear to have an injury, but on Wednesday he again did only individual and group drills. Carrington Valentine replaced him with the starters.
First-round draft pick Lukas Van Ness won his first two one-on-one pass-rushing reps of camp. On his first, he beat Bengals backup tackle Jackson Carman with a spin move. On his next rep in the rotation, Van Ness beat tackle Hakeem Adeniji with a power rush. On Van Ness’ third and final rep, tackle D’Ante Smith stopped Van Ness’ spin move.
Defensive lineman Johnathan Ford burst into the Bengals’ backfield on back-to-back snaps in one team period. He had a pressure and possible sack of Browning on the first play, then stopped running back Chase Brown for a loss on the next play.
With David Bakhtiari taking part in practice, Zach Tom was first in the rotation at right tackle. He and Yosh Nijman are still battling for that starting spot.
Rashan Gary took part in his second practice since coming off PUP this week, though he took part only in individual drills.
Christian Watson dropped a touchdown pass from Jordan Love in a red-zone drill. Love had moved to his left to buy extra time, then threw a sidearm shot to Watson, who had worked free in the middle of the end zone. But Watson dropped the pass.
Love tried an Aaron Rodgers-like no-look pass in another red zone period, but Bengals linebacker Akeem Davis-Gaither broke up the throw to Jayden Reed at the goal line.
Quote of the day
“I used to be super against joint practices, but I think they’ve got a good beat. I think the understanding is good and they’re not trying to be (jerks), and I’m not trying to be (a jerk) to them, too. That’s the most important thing. We’re here to get some work in, get some laughs, also get to know an uncommon opponent, that’s really beneficial. Definitely growing on me.” − Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari on joint practices.
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: Elgton Jenkins tossed from Bengals-Packers joint practice for fighting