Thomas Jones injured the wrist of Kansas City Chiefs teammate Jonathan Baldwin during an altercation in the locker room. The report from Nick Wright of KCSP 610 states the fight between the veteran running back and rookie wide receiver will knock Baldwin out for the remainder of the preseason.
Wright had passed along some quotes before breaking the story about Baldwin that the first-round pick out of Pittsburgh was a “diva” who had no interest in learning from the coaches. It's clear that Baldwin's stock has plummeted since arriving to training camp.
He was struggling to get separation from press coverage and was passed on the depth chart by Jerheme Urban and Steve Breaston. By clashing with one of the most respected players in the league, he is putting himself in hot water.
Jones is no stranger to quarrels with teammates. Back in 2006, he punched Cedric Benson in the head at practice. Benson had a similar reputation to Baldwin when he entered the league as a high draft pick from Texas, but has since changed his ways.
Perhaps this will be a similar learning experience for Baldwin. He left Pittsburgh prior to his senior season on negative terms:
Heck yeah I’m leaving. It can only get worse. They had me running a lot of deep routes [this year] and yards were hard to come by. I barely ran intermediate routes; it felt like they were purposely trying to disrupt my draft stock.
It would seem Jones had become fed up with Baldwin's tactics and decided he would do something about it. How the situation escalated into a brawl that cost the rookie three important games is unclear. The reports about the severity of the injury range from a couple weeks to as much as eight weeks.
Either way, it's a blow to the Chiefs front office who decided to take a chance on Baldwin at the end of the first round despite numerous red flags. Without being willing or able to hone his craft, his impact on the 2011 season appears to be shrinking by the day.
Let's not paint Jones as an angel until all the details are released, however. He is a repeat offender of fighting with teammates, and even while serving as the locker room police, fighting isn't usually the best option to resolve an issue.
Head coach Todd Haley and the rest of the organization have been tight-lipped about the situation since the news broke. It will be interesting how they handle the story now that is has been made public. The punishments, or lack thereof, will probably tell the true story of what happened behind closed doors.