New England Patriots

A New England Patriots helmet during the first half of the game between the New England Patriots and the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium on December 24, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

By Matt Dolloff,

In a practice between two opposing teams taking place in oppressive heat and humidity, it’s inevitable that tempers are going to flare. Unsurprisingly, it appears that we’ve had our first fight of joint practices between the Patriots and Titans.

Although it’s been an eventful two days for regular ol’ football production on both sides of the ball, obviously the scuffle that broke out is going to get the most attention. Ultimately, everyone will likely shrug and say “It’s football.” It’s also likely a product of the heat and humidity, which can get to anyone. But it’s certainly the kind of incident you wish you could’ve gotten to see on video, popcorn and all.

Especially considering that the brouhaha involved Stephon Gilmore, easily the most soft-spoken player on the Patriots. But it’s not terribly surprising. If you recall, Gilmore got into it with Julian Edelman during one practice back in his first season with the Patriots in 2017. Gilmore definitely plays with a lot more intensity than he exudes in his press conferences.

According to multiple reports, he tangled with Titans rookie receiver A.J. Brown and it briefly broke into a mini-brawl that brought several players from both teams into the crowd. Patriots safety Devin McCourty and Titans head coach Mike Vrabel were credited with restoring order.

Here’s a rundown of how the brawl was reported from Patriots beat writers in attendance in Nashville:

There was plenty else to pull from the live-tweeting at joint practice. Here are some more highlights.

Practice Reports

Attendance: WR Maurice Harris is the only new absence on Thursday. However, fellow WRs N’Keal Harry and Phillip Dorsett did not participate in full and left early. Julian Edelman and Demaryius Thomas remain present but not in full uniform as they’re still on the PUP/NFI lists.

— Patriots rookie CB Joejuan Williams is coming on lately. He made a pass breakup against Titans WR and former top-10 pick Corey Davis.

— With all of the injuries at receiver, the Patriots had to begin 11-on-11 drills with two undrafted free agents (Jakobi Meyers, Gunner Olszewski) and free-agent addition Dontrelle Inman as Tom Brady’s weapons. Meyers, however, has long-earned his starter snaps and continues to look like a real find.

— Speaking of Meyers, sounds like he burned former Patriots CB Malcolm Butler for a catch over the middle.

— Patriots CB J.C. Jackson followed up Wednesday’s pick-six with a pass breakup that almost turned into another interception for a TD.

— Sounds like the heat is really getting to Patriots tackle Dan Skipper.

— The calm before the storm: shortly before the scuffle between Stephon Gilmore and A.J. Brown, Patriots right tackle Marcus Cannon and Titans LB Kamalei Correa got into it during 1-on-1 drills.

— Tight end Ben Watson dropped a would-be touchdown in 7-on-7s. It apparently drew jeers from Mike Vrabel, who was known to morph into a tight end at times in his Patriots career.

— Just before he scrapped with A.J. Brown, Stephon Gilmore made a pass breakup on Corey Davis. If you remember, Davis toasted Gilmore in their matchup during last season’s 34-10 Titans win over the Pats.

— Patriots DT Adam Butler apparently got banged up during practice.

— Brady had to shift around in the pocket before hitting James White for a touchdown during 7-on-7s.

— Brady made up for Watson’s drop with a long touchdown pass in 11-on-11s.

— Patriots second-year CB Duke Dawson reportedly had his best day of camp so far. That’s not saying a ton, but he really needs to show something in these final three weeks. Bill Belichick has a tough decision on his hands at cornerback, where he may ultimately have to move on from his 2018 second-round pick.

The Patriots currently have a walkthrough scheduled for Friday, but there’s no media availability. They’ll take on the Titans in preseason action on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET in Nashville.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at