ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Forget Drew vs. Teddy, Saturday's Broncos practice was highlighted by a Royal Rumble.
In one of the most contentious training camp fights you'll see, two star players went at it on the field and then had to be separated multiple times after the fact.
Left tackle Garett Bolles and pass-rusher Bradley Chubb were matched up in 11-on-11 drills when a seemingly innocuous handoff to running back Melvin Gordon went awry in a hurry.
After the play ended, about 15-20 players were in a scuffle that involved pushing, shoving and who knows what else at the bottom of the pile. At the bottom of that pile were Bolles and Chubb, engaged in a fight that was the team's first of camp this year.
Eventually, the pair was separated, but that's when the fireworks really began. Bolles emerged from the offensive sideline on the South side of the field, Chubb from the defensive sideline on the North side of the field, and like a pair of heavyweight boxers the two were ready to come to blows.
Ugly language from both players unfit for print was hurled back-and-forth before several players realized the severity of what was about to happen. Even QB Drew Lock turned around and attempted to step in between the pair.
Once Bolles and Chubb were held back, the verbal insults continued, before each player was physically escorted back to his respective sideline. A steaming mad Bolles then chucked his helmet into the ground and disappeared into the Broncos facility.
Assistant offensive line coach Chris Kuper asked another Broncos staffer to go get Bolles and bring him back to practice. After about five minutes, the staffer returned, but without Bolles. That's when Broncos GM George Paton eventually entered the facility to talk with Bolles after consulting with head coach Vic Fangio.
10 minutes later Bolles emerged from the locker room, flanked by Paton and Vice President of Player Development Ray Jackson. A trainer appeared to do a routine tape job on Bolles' legs before his helmet was returned by an equipment manager who had been working on repairing it after it was thrown.
Several minutes after that, during a team water break, Bolles walked across the field towards Denver's linebackers and approached Chubb. The two briefly chatted before Bolles tapped Chubb on the shoulder and returned to his side of the field.
Bolles was allowed to return to 11-on-11 drills the rest of practice, but Chubb was held out. It was unclear if that was due to previous injury rehab or if the coaches didn't want the two matching up on the field again.
Neither spoke with the media after practice and Fangio was brief in his remarks about the fight, despite the first five questions of his press conference being on the subject.
"I didn't see any of it, I was on the other side of the field," Fangio said. "Don't know what precipitated it. We'll talk about it when we go inside."
Fangio added Bolles was not kicked out of practice, but instead left to "gather himself."
The Broncos return to the field on Sunday afternoon at Empower Field at Mile High, although the practice isn't open to the public. The team's first preseason game is a week from Saturday at the Minnesota Vikings.
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