CARSON, Calif.—Having one tunnel that both teams share to exit the field is a terrible idea for an NFL stadium.
When the Dolphins and Chargers inevitably got chippy with each other Sunday, they had a great opportunity to finish the fight when they went to the locker room at halftime. That, of course, is exactly what happened.
It started with a questionable hit by Los Angeles safety Jahleel Addae on DeVante Parker. Parker jumped to catch a 20-yard pass near the left sideline from Jay Cutler, and Addae came flying in from behind and took out his legs. Parker couldn’t hold on to the ball, which fell incomplete.
That ignited a scuffle in which Parker, one of the quietest players on the Dolphins, had to be pulled away multiple times by Jarvis Landry. Jay Ajayi also had plenty to say during that divergence.
Parker said he had “a few words” that he can’t repeat for Addae and considered it a dirty hit.
“I would think it would be, going for my legs instead of just hitting me up top,” he said. “He said he wasn’t trying to hurt me or anything, but…”
It appeared to be a legal hit whether Parker approved or not, and Addae was not flagged for it. He told Parker on the field and reiterated in post-game interviews that he did not intend to hurt him. That obviously didn’t pacify the Dolphins.
Two plays later, the half ended and both teams converged in the tunnel. It took about one second for them to start fighting and cause a logjam, and the officials and coaches had to separate them just to get the players back to the locker room.
“In the heat of the moment, we want to make sure we protect all of our guys and make sure that everybody knows that we’ve got their back,” Landry said. “Just sticking together. That’s it.”
Parker described the scene in the tunnel as “a little hectic,” but saw nothing wrong with two teams having to use the same tunnel because “we’re all grown men.”
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