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Players liven up N.Y. football skirmish with one of their own

Brandon Jacobs and Muhammad Wilkerson turned a snoozer into a slugfest.

The New York Giants running back and Jets rookie defensive end were ejected from the teams' preseason game Monday night -- a 17-3 victory by the Jets -- after taking swings at each other.

After Mario Manningham's 7-yard catch with 8:37 left in the third quarter, Wilkerson and Jacobs shoved each other. The two yelled at each other several yards away from where Manningham caught the pass as players from both teams rushed over to separate Jacobs and Wilkerson before things escalated.

"That's not good football," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. "That's something you just don't want to see. You can't lose your control is the message there. And when you do, you have to pay the price."

Both Jacobs and Wilkerson were called for offsetting disqualification penalties, meaning both were done for the day with the Jets leading 7-3.

"I can understand it because I think both guys swung at each other," Jets coach Rex Ryan said. "Our guy swung second. He swung hard, but he swung second."

Jacobs wouldn't discuss the incident, and Wilkerson wasn't in the Jets' rookie locker room when it first opened to reporters. It's possible the players could face discipline from the NFL because of the incident.

At 6-foot-4 and 315 pounds, Wilkerson has some size on Jacobs, who's listed at 6-4 and 265. But the Jets' first-round draft pick might want to think twice about who he picks fights with: Jacobs is a former amateur boxer with a burgeoning second career as a fight manager.

The game, originally scheduled for Saturday night, was postponed to Monday because of Hurricane Irene. Both teams' offenses struggled to do much with their starters in, and the game took on a sloppy tone early and lasted throughout as 16 penalties were called -- seven on the Jets and nine on the Giants.

The teams meet again -- for real -- in Week 16 of the regular season on Christmas Eve in a game that might have playoff implications for both.

"I don't know if there are any tickets available to that Dec. 24 game, but I think we just sold them because that was a typical Jets-Giants slugfest right there," Ryan said. "That's two good football teams going at it. Obviously, it's a preseason game, but it is great competition, there's no doubt, and the fireworks will fly come Dec. 24, that's for sure."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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