After Lonnie Johnson Jr. was the talk of NFL training camp after getting kicked out of Houston’s joint practice with the Packers on Monday, former Kentucky star Za’Darius Smith has now joined in on the action.
In day two of joint practice between both franchises, the newest Packer apparently got into it with a Houston offensive lineman, sparking yet another scuffle.
Picture of today’s #Packers and #Texans scuffle. Started with Za’Darius Smith getting into it with a Houston lineman. Josh Jones, who started last weeks fight between teammates was backing up his guys and jumped into the fray pic.twitter.com/LyAqpCX71b
— Eric Fischer (@BigEWDUZ) August 6, 2019
This came after yet another dominant outing for the pass-rusher, who signed a four-year, $66-million contract with the Packers this offseason.
According to multiple reports, including the following one from Zach Kruse of The Packers Wire, Smith has been team’s defensive MVP to open training camp.
Watched mostly the defense these two days. Top takeaway: Za’Darius Smith is going to terrorize people this year. He’s so good
— Zach Kruse (@zachkruse2) August 6, 2019
New head coach Matt LaFleur said he’s lived up to the hype of that $66 million contract thus far.
“He’s everything we thought he was going to be, and I can’t say enough about the person, either,” LaFleur said. “He brings so much leadership to our defense and he’s been a lot of fun to be around. I think he raises the level of everybody around him.”
Last week, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers told Matt Schneidman of The Athletic that Smith is a “scary” human being from a pure physical standpoint.
“Z is kind of a scary guy just looking at him,” Rodgers said. “Walking in that door, he has that clout, as Julius Peppers did, where there’s a healthy, ‘I’m not going to cross that person.’
As for Johnson, Texans head coach Bill O’Brien held him out of practice this morning due to his flexing celebration following his tough hit on Packers TE Jace Sternberger that knocked his helmet off on Monday. The incident led to a scuffle between both teams.
It was rookie on rookie crime, Packers TE Jace Sternberger was hit hard by Texans CB Lonnie Johnson and then flexed over him.pic.twitter.com/iIXxfBzWzY
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) August 5, 2019
After practice, Johnson posted – and later deleted – an image of the incident on his Instagram page, adding the caption, “Gotta drop on this flexing….. #itsfootball.”
The Texans will take on the Packers in their first preseason game of the year on Thursday at 8:00 p.m. ET.