The Baltimore Ravens sent safety Earl Thomas home Friday after an alleged fight with safety teammate Chuck Clark, according to NFL Media's Tom Pelissero. Pelissero adds that Thomas was not on the field Saturday morning for practice. The instigating factor for the disagreement is unknown. CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora confirmed the report, adding that a decision on the veteran's future with the organization could come to a head today. The team's "Leadership Council," a group of players recognized as team leaders, made it clear that they do not want Thomas around, per La Canfora, who also noted that the potential is there for the team to suspend the safety or take other disciplinary actions.
La Canfora noted that there is support within the team for 2018 sixth-round pick DeShon Elliott in addition to the possibility of re-signing Tony Jefferson, who was released by the organization early this offseason and was formerly himself a member of the "Council."
Coach John Harbaugh addressed the issue after practice on Friday and sent a message to his team that their focus needs to be on the coming season.
"I don't know exactly what happened at the end of practice. I just came off the field and came in here, so we'll find out the details of it," Harbaugh said, via The Athletic. "It just lasted longer than it needed to for me. You're going to have these things in training camp. Tempers are going to flare, sure. It happens every training camp, especially right about now, probably. But I don't like them when they extend like that and eat into our reps. We're going to have to find out why and make sure that doesn't happen. We need to keep our eye on the prize, which is preparing for Browns."
It is not uncommon for players on opposing sides of the ball to get into an altercation during practice when pads are popping and emotions are high. However, Thomas and Clark play alongside one another as starters in the same secondary. Clark, who signed a three-year extension worth $15.3 million in February, is expected to take over for Jefferson. Baltimore's secondary projects to be one of the strongest in the league. The unit really came together after acquiring cornerback Marcus Peters from the Rams despite suffering the loss of Jefferson to a knee injury.
Thomas is entering his second season with the defending AFC North champions since signing a four-year deal worth $55 million in 2019. The 31-year-old recorded 49 tackles, two sacks, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and two interceptions in his first season with his new club.
Clark entered the league with the Ravens as a sixth-round pick in 2017. He had largely been a reserve player until receiving an extended workload this past year. The Virginia Tech product recorded 73 tackles, one sack, two forced fumbles and an interception.
Baltimore's postseason prematurely came to an end in the divisional round against Tennessee after going 14-2 during the regular season. William Hill Sports Book has given the Ravens the second-best odds -- behind the Chiefs -- to win the Super Bowl. Their 2020 regular season opens at home Sep. 13 against the divisional rival Browns.