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August 22, 2023

Eagles' Jason Kelce reflects on end-of-practice fight

The Eagles and Colts got into an end-of-practice fight that involved Jason Kelce, Kenny Gainwell and Zaire Franklin. Kelce speaks about what happened.

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8.6.23_EaglesPractice_Jason-Kelce-0883.jpg Colleen Claggett/for PhillyVoice

Jason Kelce #62 of the Philadelphia Eagles takes the field during practice at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pa. on August 6, 2023.

Training camp brought some fireworks on Tuesday. During a heated practice between the Eagles and Colts that saw a couple of early scuffles, things were capped off with a sideline-clearing brawl.

After Colts defensive back Zaire Franklin leveled a late hit on Eagles running back Kenny Gainwell, Jason Kelce had seen enough, going right at Franklin as bodies dropped and all players found themselves on the field in a scrum. That intensity was building. 

Earlier, there was some routine Derek Barnett shoving. A.J. Brown got into it a bit with an Indianapolis defensive back. There were other hits on Eagles players that came a bit late.

After the dust settled and practice was called following the fight, Kelce was the last Eagles player to speak with the media.

What happened?

"Tensions just got the better of me," Kelce began. "We try to keep things civil on the field... That certainly doesn't belong out there... I'm a little bit ashamed it got to that level... Certainly not happy about that... I think very highly of the guys that were out there, particularly, No. 44, Zaire, I think he's a tremendous player... They brought a lot of intensity to the day."

Kelce stated he did not speak with Franklin after practice following the fight.

"I want to reiterate that's not something I should've done or should happen out there. It was a cheap shot," Kelce continued. 

"A certain level of intensity and fisticuffs at practice is okay, but that was not," Kelce later said. 

Gainwell also spoke to the media after practice, saying, "That's just Kelce being Kelce," about the Eagles' All-Pro center coming to his aid following that "cheap shot."  

"You have to be intense. There's just better ways," Kelce said about Gainwell's comments. "I love Kenny. I love my teammates. I think you can't just brush something off. Everybody is out here to be accountable. That was unacceptable for me."

Ahead of the Eagles' preseason finale against the Colts on Thursday night, there's a whole lot of juice down here in South Philly.

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