RENTON — While there were no pads, and theoretically no real hitting, day 6 of Seahawks training camp turned out to be as eventful as any so far.
There was a fight between offensive lineman Ethan Pocic and defensive tackle Jarran Reed that resulted in both being sidelined for the rest of practice — the first tussle of the year for the Seahawks.
Pocic was not only ejected, but unlike Reed, he turned and headed into the locker room after being jettisoned by coach Pete Carroll, cooling off inside while the rest of his teammates finished out practice.
Pocic’s ejection came after he had thrown his helmet to the ground and had to be restrained by teammates from rejoining the fray, many of whom had initially helped pull him out of the pile that quickly developed as punches were thrown.
There was also a briefly scary moment when receiver Tyler Lockett hit the ground hard with trainers scurrying over. Lockett, though, had only the wind knocked out of him and returned to action soon after.
As for the fight, it resulted in a little extra running afterward as well as a quick talking-to from Carroll, who reminded his players of the damage that such a fight could do during a game if a player or two were really ejected.
“It’s really important for us to recognize how devastating that can be in a game when you’ve only got so many guys,’’ Carroll said. “If you lose one position, it can change the whole complexion of the game for you, and we can not resort to that at any time.’’
Such fights are common in training camp, and the good news is that no one appeared to suffer any injuries in the process. Order was pretty quickly restored, and play resumed without any further incidents.
Carroll joked he was glad to be able to eject and fine the players, as would surely happen during the regular season.
It was unclear what led to the fight, other than emotions getting heated on a hot day near the end of practice.
Up until then, Pocic was again working with the first team at left guard with Mike Iupati again sitting out with a sprained foot. Iupati may be back in a day or two, and Carroll said he could have practiced Thursday had it been necessary. If nothing else, Pocic’s teammates had his back — center Justin Britt, who was not in on the play, ran from the back to help defend Pocic as the tussle began.
Safety Bradley McDougald called the fight no big deal while saying that Carroll’s message to the team afterward about how it could impact the team if it happened during a game resonated.
“That’s just true training camp right there,’’ McDougald said. “Guys are going to scuffle, tempers are flared up, it’s hot out here and guys are competing to the ultimate so, it’s just normal training camp activity. We will hash it out and be brothers in the locker room.
“(But) we’ve got to keep our heads, man, depending on the situation and the game. There’s no excuses for it. Those situations are very critical. You don’t want to lose an important player late in the game over a fight or someone calling you a name or pushing you after the play. It’s kind of just a message to stay focused and keep the main thing the main thing, and that’s winning the game and not getting ejected for fighting.’’
Play of the day
Rookie safety Marquise Blair, a second-round pick out of Utah, got his most action yet after starting camp on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list due to a hamstring injury and got his first interception Thursday when he stole a pass away from tight end Ed Dickson on a crossing route on a Russell Wilson throw. The pass appeared on-target but Blair simply reached in and took it away from Dickson.
As noted above, Lockett hit the ground hard and was down for a minute or so early in practice.
Carroll, though, said Lockett just had the wind knocked out of him, and Lockett returned to practice later. Lockett talked to the media later and said only that “I just fell. I can’t really talk about it too much.’’
Undrafted rookie free agent tight end Justin Johnson suffered a legitimately unfortunate injury that may be serious. Carroll said it appeared to be an Achilles injury late in practice.
Johnson’s apparent Achilles injury leaves Seattle with just four healthy tight ends as Tyrone Swoopes remains out with a foot injury. That could mean the Seahawks needing to add a player at that spot.
Otherwise, there was nothing new evident.
However, Carroll confirmed that rookie defensive end L.J. Collier suffered “a badly sprained ankle” in practice Tuesday and will be out for a few weeks. He gave no clear ETA on when Collier will return but he could well miss the rest of the preseason the way Carroll talked about the injury.
Left tackle Duane Brown missed practiced due to a family issue, Carroll said. George Fant worked primarily with the first team in his place with second-year player Jamarco Jones working with the second team.
“It can’t get louder than the Blue Angels flying over head, which is great for us because we need all the distractions we can possibly be up against to get good at, to get right at,” Carroll, talking about the annual visit by the Blue Angels, who flew overhead throughout the workout, making it hard at times for the players to hear. Carroll said he thought that helped lead to a few miscommunications and a couple of penalties.
The Seahawks will be back on the field Friday expected to be in full pads for the first time, at 10:15 a.m.