Like ‘brothers’: NFL coach plays down scuffle between stars

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·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
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The LA Rams have sought to brush over an altercation sparked by star Jalen Ramsey shoving a teammate's helmet on Monday. Pictures: Fox NFL
The LA Rams have sought to brush over an altercation sparked by star Jalen Ramsey shoving a teammate's helmet on Monday. Pictures: Fox NFL

Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay has likened the on-field altercation that occurred between his players Jalen Ramsey and Taylor Rapp to a pair of brothers fighting.

There was clearly tension in Rams’ huddle from the opening kick-off and it didn’t take long for it to bubble to the surface on the Ravens’ opening drive of the game.

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After Marquise Brown reeled-in a 13-yard completion for a first down, Ramsey got into a heated exchange with Rapp, before throwing an open-hand punch that connected with Rapp’s helmet. Rapp looked to retaliate, but the pair were quickly separated by teammates before the situation escalated further.

Despite the misunderstanding occurring so early in the contest, the Rams were seemingly able to put it behind them, eventually coming away with a 20-19 victory on the back of quarterback Matthew Stanford’s 309 passing yards.

Speaking to reporters after the game, McVay played down the incident, simply describing it as nothing more than a ‘mixup’.

“It’s two great competitors. They both want to do right,” McVay said.

“There was a little bit of a mixup. It’s just like anything else. You got any brothers? You ever get into a fight with your brother? Yeah you did.

“And so they moved on and they kept it going. I don’t think it affected our ability to move forward. These are two guys that love football. They love one another.

“There was a little bit of a mixup and any time you care about each other like that, you keep it moving and I thought that’s what we did.”

Rams expecting team to mov on from Jalen Ramsey scrap

McVay said he did not expect the incident to have a negative impact on team morale moving forward.

“No, these guys are grown men,” McVay said.

“If you guys heard the stuff that I say on the headset during the games, it’s way worse than smacking another player.

“This is an emotional game. I always tell people, ‘I can’t promise it won’t happen again but I can always promise to apologize.’

“These are things that happen. We’ll keep it moving. These guys love one another and I think this is part of what families go through.”

Ramsey and Rapp’s altercation marked the second time in a week NFL teammates had got into it during a game, with Washington Football Team’s Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne getting physically aggressive with each other on the sideline during a 56-14 thrashing at the hands of the Dallas Cowboys.

The Rams’ victory over the Ravens improved their record to 12-4, which keeps them in top spot of the NFC West. The Ravens meanwhile dropped to 8-8 with their fifth straight loss and now find themselves in a dog fight for the final AFC Wild Card spot.

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