Turns out Kadarius Toney wasn’t the only one throwing haymakers in Week 5. According to the New York Daily News’ Pat Leonard, Cowboys starting safety Jayron Kearse also got in on the action. During handshakes following Dallas’ 44-20 victory, Kearse reportedly punched Giants tight end Evan Engram in the face.
The Daily News says FOX executives deferred to the league for video of the incident. The NFL then referred to NFL Films, who, per a league spokesman, claimed NFL Films employees checked and found no video of the incident. Video evidence or not, Engram confirmed that he was indeed punched by Kearse while speaking to The Daily News on Wednesday, October 13th.
“I walked up on him. He walked up on me kinda, saying some stuff. He threw the punch,” Engram said. “We had some guys there that separated us, so it was kind of boom, boom.”
Engram Clowns Kearse for Punch
As for how Engram maintained his cool during the situation without retaliating, the tight end had a pretty simple reply. Engram claimed Kearse hit him with a “little baby punch” via Leonard:
“I was pushing him around the whole game, so he was probably just mad about that,” Engram told the News on Wednesday. “It’s whatever.”
Engram said he didn’t punch back because Kearse had thrown “a little baby punch.” Plus, he didn’t want to get fined.
“There’s this thing the NFL does, they send out letters and they forcefully take money from you for acting up,” Engram said, tongue in cheek. “So I don’t need any of that. It was a little baby punch anyway. It was soft. So I definitely want to keep my money in my pocket. I’m good.”
Funnily enough, Kearse was applauded on social media for being a good samaritan during the game. FOX cameras caught the safety rushing over to Daniel Jones’ aid when the quarterback came up wobbly after a hit from Cowboys linebacker Jabril Cox.
The two division rivals will meet up again for a Week 15 bout on Sunday, December 19th in MetLife Stadium.
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Engram Failing to Produce
While Engram may be making headlines for things off the field (albeit seemingly not of his doing), he’s failing to make headlines where they truly matter — on the football field.
You could argue all you want that Engram wasn’t truly deserving of his 2020 Pro Bowl nod, and we might agree. However, if you were able to look over the mounds of game-altering drops, there’s no denying that the former first-rounder showed glimpses of promise from a production standpoint. His numbers backed up that claim, as his 63 receptions for 654 yards each ranked third amongst all NFC tight ends and were the second-highest marks of his career. Yet, more than a quarter into the 2021 regular season, Engram’s pace is far off that from a season ago.
After missing each of the first two games with a calf injury, the Ole Miss product has compiled just 11 receptions for 103 yards over the past three weeks and remains a non-factor in the red zone with zero touchdowns. Those numbers put Engram on track to finish with 514 yards on 54 receptions — this despite the NFL expanding the regular season to 17 games.
Engram had his best game of the year vs. Dallas, hauling in four receptions for 55 receiving yards. However, he’ll need to show far better than that over the coming weeks to warrant a new contract this offseason.