CHICAGO — Javon Wims took a big-time gamble with the health of his right hand during Tuesday morning's practice, the first for the Bears since returning to Halas Hall. The upshot is the wide receiver is fine.
Wims, agitated at the end of a play with about 60 minutes remaining in the 2-hour, 40-minute practice, threw the football at cornerback Prince Amukamara before throwing four to five large punches, landing them on Amukamara's helmet.
It was the biggest fight of training camp and ended when a handful of players broke them up. Tight end Bradley Sowell led a furious Wims away from the group and safety Eddie Jackson had to be restrained from going after Wims.
Wims and Amukamara were temporarily out of practice. First, coach Matt Nagy summoned Wims to midfield with wide receivers coach Mike Furrey. They spoke briefly and then Amukamara joined the group. There was a brief discussion before the players returned to the respective sidelines for offense and defense and shortly after that resumed rotating through drills and finishing practice.
"We talk about how we're going to handle those things internally when things do happen," Nagy said. "I think, to me, there's different levels of it. I know some levels it can get out of control and there's other ones where it's competitive, guys are chirping. Guys wanna do well and the beauty of our sports and sports in general is you care. These guys care and they're trying to make the team and they're trying to make plays and sometimes the juices get flowing. That's my job to come in and clear the dust, settle the dust.
"I got an education in teaching and I should have it in psychology. So they came out and we just talked -- tell me your side, tell me your side, and then now we fix it. There was an apology and to me, that's a win."
Was Wims, the aggressor in the incident, the one who apologized?
"I'll keep that internal," Nagy said.
Is it smart to throw punches at a man's helmet?
"You tell me," Nagy said.
Amukamara said he learned the hard way when he suffered a serious hand injury playing in college at Nebraska for punching the helmet of teammate Niles Paul.
"It's something Coach wants to talk about in-house and handle it personally," Amukamara said. "It doesn't mean it was a serious matter but I can't give you play-by-play as much as I would love to about the minor altercation. Long story short, angers flared up a little bit but at the end of the day we dabbed each other up and we're good, we're mature enough to not let it linger or hold grudges or bring it into the locker room. But I would say it just shows we're ready to play someone else again this week and hit somebody else."