The Chicago Bears have suspended tight end Martellus Bennett following an altercation at training camp, NBC Sports is reporting.
At a practice on Monday at the Bears’ training camp in Bourbonnais (a Chicago suburb), Bears rookie cornernback Keyle Fuller attempted to strip the ball from Bennett’s grasp during a routine tackle. Bennett apparently took exception to this, according to Fox Sports, and picked Fuller up and slammed him to the ground. Teammates Matt Forte and LaMarr Houston then separated the two, and a scuffle ensued. Bears head coach Mike Trestman decided to end practice for the day.
His actions caused him to be fined and suspended, for “conduct detrimental to the team.” Bears general manager Phil Emery told Fox Sports:
“Last night, we made a decision to fine and suspend Martellus Bennett for an undetermined length of time.”
According to Darin Gantt of NBC Sports, fines and suspensions for training camp behavior are unusual. The fact that the Bears’ first-round draft pick was involved likely was a factor in the decision to make the unusual move. However, neither Emery nor Trestman will admit to wanting to make an example out of Bennett, according to the L.A. Times. Bennett has been involved in other training camp altercations, both this season and last season.
Bennett’s behavior, on the field and off the field, has been a source of contention for the Bears and their fans, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.
As I wrote last night, practice issues with #Bears TE Martellus Bennett extend beyond outburst with Kyle Fuller. http://t.co/IA1Y5YWxV3
— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) August 5, 2014
In his column on the incident, Biggs has some choice words about Bennett’s general attitude.
“No one walks more when they’re supposed to jog and jogs more when they’re supposed to run after the play than Bennett.”
For his part, Bennett is making no apologies for the incident.
“I play hard. I go hard every single day. I’m probably one of the most violent people on the field. That’s just my style of play. That’s how I’m going to play and continue to play the way I play, and that’s what I’m here for.”
In 2012, Bennett caused something of a stir for his off-the-field antics, after posting a video that many deemed racist (see this Inquisitr article).
Did Martellus Bennett get off light for his actions? Or did the Bears come down on him too hard for playing hard? Let us know what you think in the Comments.
Image courtesy of: ESPN