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Eagles center Jason Kelce regrets 'cheap shot' that sparked practice fight with Colts

It's Aug. 22, 2023, and to the surprise of no one, a fight broke out at a joint practice.

This time, it happened in Philadelphia, where the Eagles hosted the Colts ahead of their preseason Week 3 meeting on Thursday. Despite the fact the Colts are coached by former Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen, things weren't all hugs and handshakes on Tuesday.

A number of scuffles broke out during the session, but the one that ended it included Eagles center Jason Kelce sprinting an estimated 50 yards downfield to engage Colts linebacker Zaire Franklin with what Kelce later bluntly described as a "cheap shot."

"I let my emotions get the better of me," a remorseful Kelce told reporters afterward. "That certainly doesn't belong out there on the field, and (I'm) just a little bit ashamed that it got to that level. ... Certainly not happy about that.

"I think very highly of the guys that were out there, in particular, 44, Zaire (Franklin). I think he's a tremendous player. ... They brought a lot of intensity to the day, which made the practice intense. I think I didn't handle things properly there at the end."

Franklin did not seem to appreciate what transpired when he addressed the media following the practice session.

"Thought the OGs would at least look me in the eye ... but it's all good," Franklin said, per CBS 4 in Indianapolis. "I might get a chance to look them in the eye on Thursday."

Fights are common in camp practices, and especially in joint practice settings. The competitive and often brutal nature of the sport breeds such conflict, especially in a setting in which no one is keeping score.

This was no different, save for Kelce -- a highly respected veteran leader of the defending NFC champions -- taking off on a full sprint to defend teammate Kenneth Gainwell, whom Franklin reportedly hit slightly after the play was considered dead.

Kelce was asked whether he apologized to Franklin afterward.

"Tensions are probably a little too high for that right now," Kelce said.

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