Baltimore Ravens safety Earl Thomas was sent home from Friday’s practice after a heated on-field argument with fellow safety Chuck Clark, per ESPN’s Jamison Hensley. There are reports of “mounting frustration” with Thomas among the defensive backs.
It’s the second time in the two years that Thomas has been with the Ravens that he’s gotten into such an argument with a defensive teammate. He was not at the Ravens practice on Saturday, though Clark was present.
Safeties Thomas, Clark get into ‘heated confrontation’
Thomas and Clark got into the argument with about 15 minutes left in the morning practice at the facility. It was sparked by a missed assignment by Thomas, ESPN reported, and the two began yelling at each other.
Clark was held back by teammates and Thomas “appeared to ball his fists as Clark approached him,” per the Baltimore Sun.
There was a brief pause in practice. Then the dustup continued following a couple of red zone plays. Cornerback Marlon Humphrey held back Clark, who left the practice field with defensive back Anthony Levine Sr. escorting him back.
Clark was scheduled to speak to reporters on a video call after practice, but it was canceled.
Harbaugh: Lasted longer than it needed to
Head coach John Harbaugh addressed the argument after practice with reporters. Via the Baltimore Sun:
“We’ll find out the details of it. 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.”
Thomas, 31, had a confrontation with Williams last year after a game against the Cleveland Browns.
Thomas deletes post detailing ‘mental error’ that started fight
Thomas addressed the situation on Instagram later Saturday by sharing clips from practice, but then deleted the post.
Earl Thomas responds via Instagram, acknowledging his altercation with teammate Chuck Clark began with a mental error by Thomas in practice Friday. pic.twitter.com/hPXkjKmTpw— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) August 22, 2020
The video showed the missed assignment, which he calls a “mental error on my part.”
“A Busted coverage that I tried to explain calmly meet [sic] with built up aggression turned into me getting into [it] with a teammate,” he wrote in the caption.
Thomas said it sucked to be sent home, but he can “reflect on things and keep working my plan to help the team win.” he said it’s been one of his best camps and the situation throws “dirt” on that.
Are tensions boiling to a head in Baltimore?
Ken Weinman of 105.7 The Fan in Baltimore reported there is “mounting frustration” within the Ravens defensive backs group about Thomas “being more punctual and focused, not freelancing, etc.” He is “not the most popular guy there,” he reported. Pro Football Talk also reported that teammates have become “disenchanted” with him and “they no longer regard him as a high-level player.”
The seven-time Pro Bowl safety signed a four-year, $55-million deal with Baltimore in March 2019. It includes a fully-guaranteed $10 million salary for this season, per Spotrac. But per his contract that guarantee can become void if he is suspended by the Ravens for conduct detrimental to the team, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio reported. That result isn’t cut-and-dry as Thomas would likely fight it if he were suspended.
Thomas spent nine years with the Seattle Seahawks and infamously gave the middle finger to coach Pete Carroll when he was carted off the field in 2018 with a leg injury. It was his final game with the Seahawks.
More from Yahoo Sports: