By MITCH STACY AP Sports Writer
CINCINNATI (AP) — Punches were thrown and players tossed to the ground during scuffles that interrupted a joint practice Wednesday between the Green Bay Packers and Cincinnati Bengals ahead of their preseason opener.
Packers offensive lineman Elgton Jenkins was at the center of a couple of fights that briefly delayed the practice. Jenkins connected with a punch to the head of Bengals defensive tackle D.J. Reader and was walked off the field by a coach.
The fracas didn’t escalate to the level of the helmet-swinging melee between the Bengals and Los Angeles Rams during a joint practice in Cincinnati last year. That one ended the session immediately.
“Emotions get high,” Green Bay left tackle David Bakhtiari said. “I know (Jenkins will) never do it in the game. He’s never done that in the game. So, the practice, I mean, it’s a little bit different. You know you shouldn’t, but you also know there’s no consequences.”
The Bengals and Packers play Friday night at Paycor Stadium.
Pro Bowl quarterback Joe Burrow, who strained a calf muscle early in Bengals camp, rode to the practice field on a golf cart and walked around on the sideline during the session in street clothes. There is no timetable for his return. Bengals coach Zac Taylor said Burrow, who is eligible for a new contract making him one of the highest-paid players in the NFL, will be out “several more weeks.”
“It’s always nice to have his presence out there,” Cincinnati offensive coordinator Brian Callahan said. “It’s good for guys to see him out. He’s been rehabbing quite a bit, he’s doing a good job and to have him out at practice is always beneficial. Guys like seeing him too. I think you saw everybody excited to have him out, standing around watching.”
Backups Trevor Siemian and Jake Browning took the snaps during practice and will play in the preseason game. Siemian is a seventh-year veteran who has played for the Broncos, Jets, Saints and Bears.
Browning was a member of the Bengals practice squad last year, who has yet to play in an NFL game.
STARTERS MAY BE FEW
Taylor said few Bengals starters will play Friday night, but that may change in the last two preseason games. The Bengals and Packers rested most of their starters for all their preseason games last year.
Packers coach Matt LaFleur said a plan is still being worked out, but it’s possible that presumptive starting quarterback Jordan Love and the first-team offense will get some time on the field.
“I would say it’s a pretty good chance they’re going to be out there in some capacity,” LaFleur said.
LOVE WALKS IN
The 24-year-old Love took most of the snaps for Green Bay in the joint practice. Love is entering his first year as a starter after spending the past three seasons backing up four-time MVP Aaron Rodgers, who was traded to the New York Jets.
Love threw a long touchdown to Romeo Doubs, who beat Cincinnati defensive back Cam Taylor-Britt on the play. Love also tossed two touchdown passes and an interception during the red zone period.
The Packers’ other quarterbacks are rookie fifth-round draft pick Sean Clifford and Alex McGough, who hasn’t played in an NFL regular-season game.