One of Sunday’s highest-profile games featured a high-profile pregame fracas. One of Sunday’s lowest-profile games included a fight no one really noticed.
During the latest extended weather delay in Tampa, the Broncos and the Buccaneers mixed it up during the fourth-quarter pregame warmup.
Via Mike Klis of 9news.com in Denver, the problem arose when Broncos rookie Riley Dixon started kicking balls onto the home team’s side of the field. Tampa’s punter, Bryan Anger, returned the favor.
The Bucs took exception. According to Klis, some Tampa Bay players told a member of the Denver equipment staff to catch the punts to get out. Then, multiple players (including tackle Gosder Cherilus) accosted the non-playing employee, knocking off his baseball cap.
Broncos safety Shiloh Keo, inactive due to a knee injury, noticed the situation and intervened.
“Honestly, I thought they were being jerks,’’ Keo said, via Klis. “Here’s a guy who was trying to help them out by giving them a heads up. I think they got sour and took it the wrong way. And every day we’re taught to fight for each other. To me it doesn’t matter if you’re a player, a coach or somebody who works in the organization, we’re going to look after our own. . . . If anything yell at the player who was kicking the ball and we can understand and handle it that way. But you’re going to pick on somebody who’s out there who’s trying to keep everybody safe. He’s just doing what he’s told, who had nothing to do with the physical aspect of the game.”
Guard Connor McGovern and tight end Virgil Green joined Keo. It led to pushing and shoving that eventually was broken up.
“I don’t know want happened when they went into the locker room but I’m sure there was some frustration,” Keo said of the Buccaneers. “Because we were frustrated, too. We had to go out in that pouring rain and finish the game that in our minds was over already. To me it was unnecessary. And it ticked me off.’’
It’s unknown whether officials noticed the incident. Apparently, no flags were thrown. Then again, if they were, no one would have noticed.