Sterling Shepard, Troy Hill Throw Punches in Fight After Browns-Giants Practice

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIAugust 21, 2021

Cleveland Browns cornerback Troy Hill (23) and New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard (3) get into a fight during a joint NFL football training camp practice Friday, Aug. 20, 2021, in Berea, Ohio. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
AP Photo/Ron Schwane

New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard and Cleveland Browns cornerback Troy Hill got into a fight following the two teams' joint practice at the Browns' Berea, Ohio practice facility Friday.

B/R Gridiron @brgridiron

They were READY. <a href="https://t.co/urPTbUoBGT">https://t.co/urPTbUoBGT</a> <a href="https://t.co/fJn76oyR0h">pic.twitter.com/fJn76oyR0h</a>

clevelanddotcom @clevelanddotcom

A look at the square up between Browns CB Troy Hill and Giants WR Sterling Shepard. Photos: Joshua Gunter, <a href="https://t.co/bZO8B8L2qj">https://t.co/bZO8B8L2qj</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Browns?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Browns</a> <a href="https://t.co/od1Xou4POb">pic.twitter.com/od1Xou4POb</a>

Cleveland.com and Camryn Justice of WEWS provided video from the end of the fight, which included a shot of Giants wide receiver John Ross pulling Shepard away:

clevelanddotcom @clevelanddotcom

A clip of the end of the fight between Browns CB Troy Hill and Giants WR Sterling Shepard. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Browns?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Browns</a> <a href="https://t.co/S5GYuNJhYz">pic.twitter.com/S5GYuNJhYz</a>

Camryn Justice @camijustice

<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Browns?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Browns</a> Kevin Stefanski said he'll review the throwdown between Troy Hill and Sterling Shepard that just happened after practice. Anthony Walker said they were playing around but Stefanski will check it out. <br><br>Here's the aftermath of the situation: <a href="https://t.co/VHG5zK8P7c">pic.twitter.com/VHG5zK8P7c</a>

Punches were thrown, but it did not appear any of them landed, according to Zack Rosenblatt of NJ Advance Media.

Dan Duggan of The Athletic and Bobby Skinner of Talkin' Giants provided some insight into what went down between Shepard and the Browns during the joint practice between the two teams, perhaps leading to the fracas:

Dan Duggan @DDuggan21

Shepard had a big practice and was letting the Browns know about it. Browns were giving it back. Clearly the bad blood from practice spilled over <a href="https://t.co/37dJQcS4ep">https://t.co/37dJQcS4ep</a>

To make matters more confusing, Browns linebacker Anthony Walker Jr. said that the fight was a joke, although it didn't appear that way from numerous onlookers. Skinner provided different takes on the puzzling situation.

Bobby Skinner @BobbySkinner_

Part 1: a fight<br>Part 2: the punches didn’t land<br>Part 3: the fight was a joke<br>Part 4: the punches that didn’t land were real <a href="https://t.co/T2A8jr53fI">pic.twitter.com/T2A8jr53fI</a>

Jake Trotter of ESPN also noted how players around Shepard and Hill seemed "super chill" as it was going on, adding to the confusion.

Jake Trotter @Jake_Trotter

The super chill initial reactions of the guys standing around them also made this confusing <a href="https://t.co/Tj9HOEUmkL">https://t.co/Tj9HOEUmkL</a>

Rosenblatt set the scene with Shepard immediately after the dust-up.

"After the fight, a heated Shepard took off his shirt and walked toward the busses alongside Giants receiver Darius Slayton.
"To make matters even stranger: Shepard proceeded to conduct his post-practice interviews with Giants media from New York and New Jersey, who had been speaking to Daniel Jones at the opposite end of the the facility when the fight transpired.
"Shepard approached the media without a shirt, and a Giants public relations employee found one for him to put on for his interview. The first question was about whether he was surprised no fights broke out during practice despite all the trash talking that had transpired throughout practice."

Art Stapleton of the Bergen Record provided video of Shepard's interview and noted that the Giants beat reporters were interviewing quarterback Daniel Jones far from the fight action and did not see anything go down.

Art Stapleton @art_stapleton

Sterling Shepard with Giants beat after practice, and apparently after dodging punches. Still unclear if he threw any of his own against Troy Hill of the Browns: <a href="https://t.co/L64Lx9rGsc">pic.twitter.com/L64Lx9rGsc</a>

Art Stapleton @art_stapleton

The Giants' beat reporters here - six of us - were in the far corner of the end zone away from the main field interviewing several players, and at the time Daniel Jones.<br><br>We then interviewed Sterling Shepard completely unaware of what took place with Hill. <a href="https://t.co/cWSYRcHCvg">https://t.co/cWSYRcHCvg</a>

As Rosenblatt noted, Shepard was asked if he was surprised no fights had broken out despite the host of trash talking between the two teams.

“No, it’s friendly competition," Shepard said. "That’s what we came out here for, it’s competition. It’s going to get into a talking match, it’s going to get physical out there. This is football. This is what we do. They understand that on that side, we understand that over here."

Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski told reporters that he did not see the fight but would review tape afterward.

The Giants and Browns will play a preseason game Sunday at 1 p.m. ET from Cleveland's FirstEnergy Stadium.