Emmanuel Sanders and Courtland Sutton, the Denver Broncos‘ two top receivers, got into a “heated exchange and scuffle” during Monday’s practice. 

After halting practice to discuss the incident as well as his team’s lethargic start to practice, Denver head coach Vic Fangio made the receivers “kiss and make up,” according to safety Kareem Jackson, per the Associated Press

Fangio addressed the situation after practice. 

“Obviously it’s not good. It can’t happen, shouldn’t happen,” said Fangio, whose team defeated the Falcons in last Thursday’s Hall of Fame Game. “But you’ve got to be able to react to these things and handle them the right way.”

While Sanders and Sutton declined to publicly discuss the incident after practice, linebacker Bradley Chubb did field questions about his teammates’ dust-up. 

“At the end of the day, that’s your brother, that’s your teammate,” he said. “You’re going to win games with him, you’re going to lose games with him. So, we don’t pay much attention to who fought who. It’s how are we going to get over that?”

Sanders and Sutton’s history makes Monday’s incident rather surprising. Sanders took Sutton, a fellow SMU alum, under his wing shortly after the Broncos made Sutton their second-round pick in the 2018 draft. Sutton enjoyed a solid rookie season, catching half of his 84 targets for 704 yards and four touchdowns. He recorded a career-high 85 receiving yards and a touchdown in Denver’s final regular season victory, a Week 13 win over the Bengals

That was also the game that saw Sanders sustain a torn Achilles tendon that abruptly ended what had been a solid season for the then nine-year veteran. Sanders, a Pro Bowler in two of his first five seasons with the Broncos, caught 71 of 98 targets for 868 yards and four touchdowns last year before sustaining the injury. Despite the injury and rumors that they may release him, the Broncos elected to keep the 31-year-old Sanders on the roster for the 2019 season. He is entering the final year of a contract that will pay him $12.937 million this season. 

When it comes to Sanders’ incident with Sutton, Fangio is hoping that what transpired on Monday won’t happen again. 

“Hopefully it’s just a rare episode,” Fangio said. “If it continues, then I think it’s a problem.”

News