The Chicago Bears fined and suspended tight end Martellus Bennett Tuesday for his role in a practice altercation with rookie cornerback Kyle Fuller.
Bears head coach Marc Trestman ended practice early on Monday after Bennett clashed with Fuller during a red-zone drill, ESPN reports. Fuller was attempting to strip the ball from Bennett when he threw him to the turf, prompting the incensed tight end to body-slam him. Nearby offensive and defensive players rushed to the scene to prevent further violence between the teammates.
Bennett was fined and given an indeterminate suspension for conduct detrimental to the team, Bears general manager Phil Emery said Tuesday, via the Chicago Tribune. “This is a process that we’re working with Martellus on,” he said. “We are in contact with him. Our goal is to have Martellus back as soon as possible. He’s a loved and respected teammate and we want him back. But it’s a process that we’ll have to work with.”
After the incident, Bennett would not apologize for his behavior toward Fuller. “I come to training camp for one reason, and that’s to prepare to win a championship,” Bennett said, according to ESPN. “I play hard and go hard every single day. I’m probably one of the most violent people on the field. That’s just my style of play. I’m going to continue to play the same way I always play. That’s what I’m here for.”
"Everybody talks about friendships, but really we are all preparing to win a championship. If we make friends along the way, cool. But I'm just trying to help the Bears win a championship and do the job to the best of my ability,” Bennett added.
Bennett was not concerned about the fine, either. “I can afford it,” he said. “I’m not sure what he’ll fine me for on that.” Emery stressed that the amount of the fine would remain a confidential matter.
A seven-year NFL veteran, Bennett signed a four-year, $20.4 million contract in 2013. He recorded career highs in receptions (65), receiving yards (759) and touchdowns (5) last season.