Butler, Jeffery instigate skirmish at joint practice

It was only a matter of time.

According NFL Media's Courtney Fallon, Malcolm Butler was getting chippy with wideout Brandon Cooks at a Patriots and Saints joint practice last week. This week, his on-field aggression was targeted at Bears receiver Alshon Jeffery.

The Bears and Patriots are set to face off in a preseason game this Thursday, but are participating in joint practices this week in New England. In situations like this, it's no surprise that competition can get heated -- but an all-out brawl is unexpected.

Today, during 11-on-11's, Jeffery caught a pass over Butler in the end zone. Despite the whistle, the pair continued berating each other. Words turned to shoves and each player grabbed onto the other's facemask as they skirmished.

"Tempers flared and the benches cleared, so to speak, a huge brawl ensued," Fallon said on Monday's *Total Access. *

Pats coach Bill Belichick, who has a zero-tolerance policy on fighting, booted Butler from practice, while Chicago coach John Fox let Jeffery stay and watch from the sidelines.

The two teams still have two more joint practices scheduled -- tomorrow and Wednesday -- before their preseason game Thursday night. We'll see how that goes...

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