RENTON, Wash. — Seattle Seahawks defensive end Frank Clark was tossed from practice Thursday after punching teammate Germain Ifedi in the face during a heated skirmish between offensive and defensive linemen.
Defensive tackle Malik McDowell also reported to the team after missing the first three practices of training camp after injuring himself in an ATV accident.
Clark was sent off for the final half hour of practice after his punch dropped Ifedi to the ground. Ifedi also left practice as he was being attended to by trainers after the incident.
“Disappointed we had a couple guys get after it today,” coach Pete Carroll said. “There’s no room for fighting in football. It is not part of this game. It’s not supposed to be part of this game, and we frown upon that very heavily. Real disappointed that that happened today. We have to learn and get better and be right.”
The Clark punch was secondary to an initial melee involving defensive tackle Rodney Coe and center Will Pericak.
During one-on-one pass rushing drills, Coe and Pericak matched up against each other. Coe lost his balance and Pericak continued to block him through the group of offensive linemen watching from behind. Coe took offense and hip tossed Pericak into a water dispenser set up behind the drill.
The two sides then collectively began to push, shove and scream at each other. After the skirmish subsided, Clark hit Ifedi, who had removed his helmet.
“You can’t do it in the game; you get ejected, which is just what you saw happen,” Carroll said. “Somebody can get hurt, which you saw happen. We’ve taken a big stance against it and really disappointed it happened on day four (of camp).”
Carroll initially said afterward that he didn’t have an update on Ifedi’s status before adding “he’s all right.”
McDowell’s return to the team didn’t provide much additional clarity on when, or if, he’ll be able to play for Seattle this season.
The team has been mum on details regarding McDowell’s injuries since the incident became public Sunday.
“He’s doing all kinds of appointments and stuff to make sure that we know exactly what’s going on,” Carroll said. “They did a lot of stuff yesterday. I really don’t have much to report for you but it’s going to take a while to figure it out.”
In a statement released Sunday, McDowell said his injuries were not life- or career-threatening and “you will see me back on the field in the near future.”
Carroll seemed less optimistic about that assessment, saying that he believed the issue would linger.
The Seahawks added McDowell to their active roster and placed him on the non-football injury list. To clear space, the team released long snapper Nolan Frese.