PHILADELPHIA -- Jason Kelce called game.
Nearing the 90-minute mark of the Philadelphia Eagles one (and only) joint practice with the Indianapolis Colts, Kelce blindsided Zaire Franklin and shoved him to the ground, causing a benches-clearing brawl between both teams that ended practice. The shove was the final straw on what was a physical day between both teams that saw two scuffles in a 20-minute span.
"I let my emotions get the better of me," Kelce said after Tuesday's practice. "You try to keep things civil on the field and being a guy that sustains the level of emotion and level of play out there, I let my emotions get the better of me.
"It certainly doesn't belong out there on the field. [I'm] a little bit ashamed it got to that level that it did. I'm certainly not happy about that."
The events that led to the fight stemmed from the previous play. Kenneth Gainwell caught a pass from Jalen Hurts and was pushed late by Franklin, but Gainwell had a shove of his own to retaliate. On the next play, Hurts found Gainwell across the middle, where Kelce decided to deliver a blow to Franklin that ended up with Franklin on the ground.
Benches cleared and practice was over. For the Eagles, camp was over.
Franklin, a Philadelphia native who is entering his sixth year in the NFL, thought he deserved a little more respect than what he got.
"Growing up in Philly, I watched him play for a long time. I have a lot of respect for him," Franklin said. "Thought the OGs would at least look me in the eye before ... but it's all good. I'll get a chance to look him in the eye Thursday [preseason game] so we'll be okay."
Gainwell, in the center of the mix, was fired up after the scuffle. Kelce was there to defend him, after all.
"That's just Kelce being Kelce," Gainwell said. "Being professional and taking care of his brothers. That means I can trust the guy when we go inside zone when I'm running the ball."
Tension was building up throughout the day prior to the brawl. Sydney Brown popped Mo Alie-Cox on a ball intended for him, causing an incompletion early in the 11-on-11s. Deon Cain later caught a slant pass on Ronnie Harrison and flexed on the Colts safety after the play.
Derek Barnett knocked the ball out of Anthony Richardson's hand on a strip sack, causing some shoving between Eagles and Colts players. Jalen Carter followed with a sack of his own as the rookie QB rolled to his right, stripping the ball from Richardson's hands, which led to more shoving. Barnett got in the scuffle, which drew flags from both teams. Both Barnett and Carter had to be held back.
In the full team portion of 11-on-11s, A.J. Brown caught a slant across the middle and was popped by Julian Blackmon. Brown got right back up and got into Blackmon's face, causing another scuffle between the teams.
Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni even got in on the action as K'Von Wallace intercepted Gardner Minshew, but flags were across the field. Sirianni picked them up after he ran onto the field and screamed at the referee.
Once the Franklin-Gainwell affair started, all hell broke loose.
"We're a team. We ain't gonna let nobody come in our house and take over," Gainwell said. "We're gonna continue to work hard each and every day. We whooped they ass, though."
Franklin didn't mince words over what happened, admitting the Colts got good work in regardless of the brawl.
"Sometimes your speed ain't their speed, people get offended," Franklin said. "That's life. We'll be OK ... To be honest, I was looking forward to get some good work in against a good team. We got some good work in today, got some stuff to review.
"But you know, it is what it is."
Kelce didn't have the opportunity to talk to Franklin in the heat of the moment. Once cooler heads prevailed, the emotions let out.
"That's not something I should have done. It was a cheap shot," Kelce said as he shook his head in disgust. "I had a lot of joint practices and I never had anything like that happen. You have more opportunities for your temper and for you to get in your head about things.
"I think very highly of the guys that were out there, including Zaire. He's a tremendous player -- along with all of their guys up front. They brought a lot of intensity, which made practice intense. I think I didn't handle things properly at the end."