Earl Thomas, Chuck Clark have “heated confrontation” at practice

USA TODAY Sports

Training-camp practices usually involve players from different sides of the line of scrimmage, who have been pushing and shoving and hitting and otherwise agitating each other for days if not weeks. When teammates on the same side of the ball fight in August, something else may be happening.

For the Ravens on Friday, a pair of players who play the same position got into it.

Via Jonas Shaffer of the Baltimore Sun, safeties Earl Thomas and Chuck Clark had a “heated confrontation.” As Shaffer explains it, a sideline argument late in the morning practice became something more than that, with Clark being held back by teammates and Thomas balling his fists. The situation flashed again later in practice, with cornerback Marlon Humphrey restraining Clark, and Clark soon after that leaving the practice field.

Clark was scheduled to speak to reporters on Friday, but his videoconference was canceled. Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com reports that Thomas was sent home after the altercation.

“We’ll find out the details of it,” coach John Harbaugh said regarding the fracas. “It just lasted longer than it needed to for me. You’re going to have these things in training camp. I think you’re going to have tempers flare, sure. It happens every training camp, especially right about now, probably. But I don’t like them when they extend like that and eat into our reps, and we’re going to have to find out why and make sure that doesn’t happen. We need to keep our eye on the prize, which is preparing for the Browns.”

Jason LaCanfora and Ken Weinman of 105.7 the Fan in Baltimore later said that “there is mounting frustration” among the team’s defensive backs regarding Thomas. There are issued, they said, with Thomas being “punctual and focused” and “not freelancing.” Also, some veterans think third-year pro DeShon Elliott should get more reps in practice.

Regardless of the opinions of the other players, Thomas is going nowhere. His 2019 contract includes a fully-guaranteed $10 million salary in 2020, along with $15 million in signing-bonus money that has yet to hit the cap. However, it seems that pushback may be beginning from within, and it will be interesting to see where it goes from here — especially if the instincts of the other Ravens players are proven by things that happen when the real games start in 22 days.

UPDATE 10:21 a.m. ET: If the Ravens suspend Thomas for conduct detrimental to the team — and if the arbitration process upholds the suspension — the $10 million guarantee for 2020 can be voided.

21 responses to “Earl Thomas, Chuck Clark have “heated confrontation” at practice

  1. Earl Thomas seems like a trully horrible person that even teammates are starting to hate. No fan of the Ravens but I respect them for wanting to kick the crap out of anyone that doesn’t want to work or is a complete dbag

  2. Thomas is good, but he’s also a head case. He’ll destroy that defense too, just give him time.

  3. earl thomas in his final appearance with the Seahawks the team that drafted him and made him a multi million are flipped off his own team the coaches and the fans. nuff said….

  4. “I’m the only one that cares about winning! WHy isn’t everyone else as pumped up and excited about it like me!? BLAHHHHHH” – every headcase player ever

  5. Maybe Clark told Thomas to go watch some footage of himself getting toyed with in the playoff loss to the Titans after Thomas talked up a tough game.

  6. Chuck Clark wears the “green dot” helmet for the Ravens’ defense. He lines the up, he calls the plays. The defense took a big step forward when Clark replaced Tony Jefferson (injury). Thomas even said that Clark is the most cerebral player on the team. He knows every position, where its supposed to be aligned, and what is supposed to do on every play. So it is not surprising that he would call out Thomas for freelancing. Ravens also have depth with talented but injury prone Destin Elliott, promising rookie Geno Stone, and don’t forget about Jimmy Smith, who in addition to playing corner will play some safety this year. Thomas needs to be real careful here. This team isn’t going to tolerate any nonsense from him.

  7. A rare misfire by the Ravens. Thomas is a complete cancer in the locker room. He does far more damage than good for his team. His teammates universally hate him.

  8. Too much soft coaching these days harbaugh should have stepped in grabbed both players by the facemasks chewed them a new one then made them shake hands and go run a few laps for good measure.

  9. The way these stories are written it seems like Clark should be suspended too. They are probably not looking to dump his salary though so the choice is easier, no matter who might be at fault.

  10. I remember from his comments at the time they signed Thomas he was supposed to bring veteran leadership. Sounds like his teammates don’t even want the guy around let alone want to follow his lead.

  11. I agree tempers flare, but not for guys on the same side of the ball. Defense and offense often go after each other, for it to be a guy and literally the guy beside you, childish.

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