The Texans and Packers held a joint practice yesterday, and as is often the case when two teams that are already grumpy from practicing every day in high temperatures get together, a fight broke out. This was different from your standard training-camp fight, though, because it was instigated by one player who was so committed to playing like a dickhead that his own coach had to kick him off the field.
The dickhead in question is rookie cornerback Lonnie Johnson Jr., who lit up two Packers players during what was supposed to be a non-tackling session. The scrap kicked off between the two teams when Johnson Jr. hit rookie tight end Jace Sternberger so hard that his helmet flew off, at which point Johnson Jr. stood over him and flexed in celebration. Sternberger was checked for concussion symptoms.
After the scuffle between the two teams ended, Johnson Jr. again laid a big hit on a Packers kick returner, at which point he was sent off the field by Texans head coach Bill O’Brien.
After the practice ended, a few Packers were pissed. Davante Adams had this to say to ESPN:
You can do it in the games and you get fined. Be a coward when you do stuff like that in practice, it’s not a good look. We take care of each other up here. I don’t know how they practice, I don’t know what they do over there, but there’s consequences for stuff like that.
And Jimmy Graham added this:
Obviously he’s a rookie and he needs to know you can’t be hitting guys live in practice. That’s absolutely ridiculous. And we’re not going to stand for that here, obviously. I know his older guys over there are going to be on him about it because my young guy’s just running through a zone, obviously. Just run by him.
O’Brien attempted to downplay the situation, telling reporters that the hits Johnson Jr. doled out were “not a big deal.” Packers head coach Matt LaFleur disagreed, telling reporters “I thought there was no place for that.”
As for Johnson Jr., he clarified on Twitter that he was just trying to be great:
He doesn’t seem to have any real regrets, though: