Emmanuel Sanders, Courtland Sutton Separated After Brief Scuffle at Broncos Camp

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistAugust 5, 2019

Denver Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton (14) warms up during an NFL training camp practice at the team's headquarters Tuesday, July 30, 2019, in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Denver Broncos wide receivers Emmanuel Sanders and Courtland Sutton had to be separated after getting into a brief altercation on the sidelines during Monday's training camp practice, per multiple reports.

Kyle Fredrickson @kylefredrickson

Emotions running high in the receivers group a moment ago. Emmanuel Sanders and Courtland Sutton need separating after a brief scuffle. Lots of barking back and forth. Ron Leary pulls Sutton far away to end it.

Zac Stevens @ZacStevensBSN

Emmanuel Sanders was heated after a penalty-filled period of practice. He and Courtland Sutton were going back and forth before Ron Leary pulled Sutton away.

Quarterback Joe Flacco spoke to both players after they were separated, according to Ryan Koenigsberg of BSN Denver:

Ryan Koenigsberg @RyanKoenigsberg

After Emmanuel Sanders and Courtland Sutton had to be separated twice, Joe Flacco went and talked to each guy personally. Emotions seemed to have cooled now but Vic Fangio just huddled up the entire team at midfield.

The scuffle included water bottles being thrown, according to Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic, and Sanders demanded accountability from his younger teammate:

Nicki Jhabvala @NickiJhabvala

I don’t know how it started between Sanders and Sutton and I’m not going to relay the full exchange of what was said, but Sanders was pissed because he was “trying to get them right” and argued that Sutton and others haven’t proven themselves in the league yet.

The wideout pair weren't the only ones chirping Monday:

Kyle Fredrickson @kylefredrickson

Has been an overall chippy practice today. A false start on the OL earlier in 11-on-11 caused Phillip Lindsay to get very vocal. Second-year player not afraid to call out teammates.

Heated moments between teammates at NFL training camps are par for the course. Between multiple practices, the summer heat and the naturally aggressive nature of football, things tend to get chippy at some point. So there likely won't be much concern coming from inside the locker room about the incident between Sutton and Sanders.

The bigger focal point heading into the season will be whether that pair, alongside Flacco, can resuscitate a passing game that finished 19th in passing yards (231 YPG) and tied for 24th in passing touchdowns (19) a season ago.

There are big expectations for Sutton, who caught 42 passes for 704 yards and four touchdowns during his rookie season. Only Sanders (71 receptions for 868 yards and four scores) had more receptions or receiving yards for the Broncos. 

Thus far, the young receiver has impressed Flacco while taking both first- and second-team reps. 

"He's a guy that learns with a lot of reps and once he gets those reps, he never makes the same mistakes again and he has a really good feel for how to do things," Flacco said last week, per Ryan O'Halloran of the Denver Post. "That's really the bottom line with him. You've just got to get him out there, get him the reps and let him build his confidence from there."