Giants practice fight reportedly gets ugly as veteran takes helmet swing at rookie

The New York Giants held their final day of mandatory minicamp on Thursday, and let's just say, it's probably a good thing that the team is going to have the next few weeks off. 

According to multiple reports, a fight broke out at camp involving veteran defensive tackle Damon Harrison and rookie offensive lineman Will Hernandez. The fact that a fight occurred isn't that big of a deal, because fights break out all the time. However, this fight was notable because Harrison apparently used a helmet as a weapon. 

According to the New York Daily News, Hernandez's helmet came off during a running play, and after the play was over, Harrison picked the helmet up and tried to hit Hernandez over the head with it, but missed. Hernandez responded to the errant helmet swing by throwing multiple punches at Harrison before the team eventually stepped in and broke things up. 

If Harrison had connected on his helmet swing, that could've had disastrous results. Although Harrison and Hernandez both made it out of the fight unscathed, there was at least one teammate who didn't. According to ESPN.com, left tackle Nate Solder hurt his knee during the melee. Although he admitted after practice that the knee still hurt "a little bit," it appears he escaped serious injury.  

Solder, who signed with the Giants in March after seven seasons with the Patriots, had no problem with the fact that two of his teammates got in a fight, but he did say that he thinks the team needs to focus more. 

"We just have to focus on getting better, we have to play better football, we have to be a strong unit on the offensive line and we have to do what we can control," Solder said, via quotes distributed by the team. "Those things are battles, they happen, emotions rise and you work through it and move on."

Giants coach Pat Shurmur echoed Solder's opinion when asked about the fight. Although Shurmur made it clear he was unhappy with the Harrison's helmet swing, he did say he liked the competitiveness at camp. 

"It has been very competitive the whole camp," Shurmur said. "There are certain things we certainly can't do. We got it settled down. When scuffles break like that, in that situation, we just take them out of the practice and let them cool off."

Shurmur said he wasn't surprised to see a scuffle develop between Harrison and Hernandez, who was taken by the Giants in the second round of this year's NFL Draft

"It is competitive up there. Snacks is a very competitive guy and Will Hernandez is very competitive out there," Shurmur said. "They just kind of butted heads."

Hernandez has apparently been butting heads with everyone. According to Eli Manning, Hernandez has been in at least five fights this offseason, and that estimate came on June 5, which means there's a good chance that Hernandez has added several fights to the tally since then. 

The rookie offensive lineman and the rest of the team won't be fighting any time soon. With Thursday's practice session now in the books, the Giants won't be on the field again until training camp kicks off in late July.   

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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