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Martellus Bennett suspended indefinitely
BOURBONNAIS – General manager Phil Emery announced Tuesday that the team has fined and suspended tight end Martellus Bennett after his fight with rookie cornerback Kyle Fuller.
Emery said his suspension is “for an undetermined length of time” for “conduct detrimental to the team.” The amount of the fine also was not disclosed.
“This is a process that we’re working with Martellus,” Emery said. “We are in contact with him. Our goal is to have Martellus back as soon as possible. He’s a very loved and respected teammate and we want him back. But it’s a process that we have to work through.”
Bennett will remain on the Bears’ active 90-man roster, but will not be involved in any team activities. Emery said he is “away from the team at this time.”
The suspension comes a day after Bennett was involved in another altercation with a teammate at practice.
During a goal-line situation in team drills on Monday, Fuller quickly broke on Bennett from the outside, latched on to the ball and spun him to the ground. Bennett responded by grabbing Fuller’s jersey, picking him up and slamming him.
Linebackers Shea McClellin and Jon Bostic restrained Bennett as he stood over Fuller, the Bears’ first-round draft pick. Receiver Brandon Marshall had some words for Bennett, who was pulled away from the team by running back Matt Forte and defensive end Lamarr Houston. Coach Marc Trestman then promptly ended Monday’s practice.
During organized team activities, Bennett was involved in a fight with Houston. Bennett took off his own helmet and slammed it on the ground, while being separated from Houston.
Bennett also wrestled with defensive back Kelvin Hayden during training camp last year.
Emery said the Bears reached the decision to suspend Bennett “collectively” and that “this was the best course of action.”
Bennett spoke to the media on Monday, seemingly shrugging off the idea that he could be facing discipline for his actions.
“I can afford [a fine],” he said. “I don’t see what he can fine me for on that.”
Bennett took exception to an aggressive play by rookie cornerback Kyle Fuller in an 11-on-11 red-zone drill and started an altercation that was so egregious it forced coach Marc Trestman to end practice immediately and get his team’s mental focus in order.
After Bennett caught a pass from Jay Cutler around the 5-yard line, Fuller tried to strip the ball, and in the process of reaching for the ball, he pulled Bennett to the ground.
Bennett immediately popped up, shoved Fuller and then threw the first-round draft pick to the ground. Shea McClellin and Jon Bostic helped pull Bennett off Fuller, but Bennett still was visibly upset and had to be counseled by several teammates — Lamarr Houston, Matt Forte, Jordan Palmer and an animated Brandon Marshall among them — before he settled down.