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New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard and Cleveland Browns cornerback Troy Hill engaged in a wild post-practice fight on Friday that saw several haymakers unleashed — none of which appeared to land.
The exchange was brought about by an intense day of practice — the second and final joint practice between the two teams — which also featured an uptick in trash talk.
At several points throughout practice, the shifty Shepard appeared to get under the skin of Hill, leading to some verbal exchanges and unnecessary contact.
Apparently Sterling Shepard & Troy Hill got into it after Giants-Browns joint practice
This occurred during practice pic.twitter.com/WOKdYUhQ1i
— Bobby Skinner (@BobbySkinner_) August 20, 2021
After practice, the two came together on an adjacent practice field with Shepard simply looking to talk to Hill. However, the Browns cornerback had other ideas.
Dan Duggan of The Athletic reports that Hill was the aggressor in the fight, throwing the first punch and prompting Shepard to act in self defense.
From what I’ve gathered Troy Hill was the aggressor in the fight with Sterling Shepard. Giants aren’t thrilled that Shepard wound up in that situation, but any disciplinary action will be tempered by the fact that he didn’t throw the first punch.
— Dan Duggan (@DDuggan21) August 21, 2021
Based on photos from the incident, Shepard was able to bob and weave, slipping Hill’s unorthodox punches like boxing legend Floyd Mayweather.
Despite Shepard participating in the fight, he met with reporters shortly thereafter and acted as if nothing had happened — and the New York media was unaware that it had.
“No, it’s friendly competition. 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,” Shepard said, via NJ Advance Media.
What discipline Shepard faces is unclear, but you can guarantee Giants head coach Joe Judge is furious with the entire situation. Hill being the aggressor may save Shepard from extreme punishment but as Duggan indicates, there will still be some sort of fallout.