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NFL notes: Bears suspend, fine tight end Martellus Bennett

Published August 5, 2014 5:12 pm

NFL notes • He slammed a teammate to the ground during practice on Monday.
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Tight end Martellus Bennett was suspended indefinitely by the Chicago Bears on Tuesday after an altercation in practice the day before.

General manager Phil Emery says the team "made a decision to fine and suspend Martellus Bennett for an undetermined length of time," though he wouldn't specify the amount of the fine.

On Monday, Bennett was taken to the ground Monday with a grab to the shoulder by rookie cornerback Kyle Fuller. The play occurred during a full-pad scrimmage when players are not supposed to be taken to the ground. Bennett responded by getting up, grabbing the first-round draft pick and slamming him to the ground.

Emery wouldn't go into specifics about why the decision was made, saying only, "He was suspended for conduct detrimental to the team."

Neither Emery nor coach Marc Trestman would characterize it as making an example of Bennett, who has been involved in several practice scrapes this training camp, and a few last year, as well.

"I play hard, go hard every single day," Bennett said Monday after practice. "I'm probably one of the most violent people on the field. That's just my style of play. That's how I play. I'm going to continue to play the way I play. That's what I'm here for.

"Everybody's talking about friendships. Really, we're all preparing for a championship. If we make friends along the way, that's cool. But at the end of the day, I'm just trying to help the Bears win a championship and the do the job to the best of my ability."

When asked by reporters about the possibility of a fine, Benentt said, "I can afford it. I don't see what he can fine me for on that."

Bennett will not be with the team at camp until the suspension is lifted.

"I'll be talking with him today," Trestman said. "We've got a plan and a process in place. We want to go through this process and when the time is right he'll be back."

Fuller was not punished for the incident.

"It's a tough situation," quarterback Jay Cutler said. "I thought Kyle did a great job of handling himself."

Wide receiver Brandon Marshall was seen shouting at Bennett after the incident in Monday's practice. Marshall did not practice Tuesday, but Trestman called it a coach's decision to give him rest and not punishment for the words he had with Bennett. Dante Rosario and Zach Miller filled in at Bennett's spot Tuesday.

"Things happen during these moments and nothing of it has lingered with our football team," Trestman said. "We had one of our better practices today."

Browns put on gloves

To prepare for the NFL's crackdown on defensive holding this season, the Cleveland Browns are making their cornerbacks and safeties wear boxing gloves during training camp practices. The smaller, mittenlike gloves — used by kickboxers and in mixed martial arts — are meant to deter players from latching onto jerseys of wide receivers, an allowable tactic in the past but one that will draw a penalty flag now.

When he first saw the padded gloves, Browns Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden didn't know what to think.

"I came out and we had boxing gloves on," Haden said. "It was crazy."

Not long after putting them on, Haden was beaten on a long pass by wide receiver Travis Benjamin, who came back on his route to haul in a throw from rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel. Haden tried to get his hand on the ball, but the glove didn't allow him to tip it away. Haden, though, understands the cross-sport technology.

"With the way they're calling the game so tight now, they want to make sure we can't grab or put our hands on a receiver," he said.

Around the league

Jets • Rookie safety Calvin Pryor, just back from a concussion, will not play in the team's preseason opener against the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday night. Coach Rex Ryan says Tuesday that the first-round pick missed a lot of work after suffering the head injury on July 26. Pryor returned to full contact Monday, but Ryan anticipates holding him out until the team's second preseason game.

Saints • Owner Tom Benson was treated and released from a hospital after he had trouble breathing while watching practice in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. Team spokesman Greg Bensel says the 87-year-old Benson is "fine" after being given oxygen. Bensel says doctors at a hospital in Lewisburg put Benson through a series of tests and "did not find any issues or complications."