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Rider coach Chris Jones downplays Carter, Williams fight as part of football

REGINA — The Saskatchewan Roughriders are throwing a flag on speculation that star receiver Duron Carter is on his way out of town after a fight at practice.

Head coach and general manager Chris Jones said there was an altercation Monday but won't give any more details, saying "that's football."

"There's altercations at football practices and that's what happened. I mean it's a violent sport and that's what went on," Jones told reporters Tuesday at Mosaic Stadium in Regina.

"There have been fights broke out everywhere I've ever been. In fact some of the better teams that we had. I can remember Dwight Anderson and Brandon Browner (with the 2008 Calgary Stampeders) fighting four times on day four and we won the Grey Cup, so no it doesn't concern me in the least."

Reports emerged that some players and coaches were being released or suspended after the fight.

But Jones said Carter remains with the CFL team.

He also wouldn't comment on disciplinary action.

"We're not going to sit here and just harp on something that was blown up quite honestly on Twitter," said Jones. "Football is a violent sport. We practise it hard. There's going to be altercations and that's the end of the story."

The speculation about Carter's future was fuelled by Carter's own tweet Monday in which he said "It was fun while it lasted... love y'all."

Veteran cornerback Jovon Johnson then tweeted that defensive back Sam Williams "did something unacceptable that triggered it." But Johnson also tweeted that "it truly wasn't that freaking serious!"

Johnson, who is one of the team captains, said he was trying to give some perspective without getting into details.

"There is a lot of stuff that people were talking about, that they didn't know what they were talking about," he said after practice Tuesday.

"It's definitely been blown out of proportion."

Williams was not at practice Tuesday, but Johnson said Williams was sick that morning and it had nothing to do with the incident.

Carter, who was at practice Tuesday, said the fight was over "some football stuff."

"That's how it goes down. You know guys get heated and words are said and then it's punches I guess," said Carter.

Carter also said he's getting off of Twitter to focus on a playoff run.

It's not the first time Carter has been in a ruckus in the Canadian Football League.

In 2016, when Carter was with the Montreal Alouettes, the CFL suspended him for one game for his part in a wild melee against the Ottawa Redblacks.

As Carter walked by the Ottawa bench after a touchdown, he bumped into Redblacks head coach Rick Campbell, knocking him over. The Redblacks rushed to Campbell's defence, throwing slaps and shots at Carter, who continued his celebration straight through the Ottawa bench area to his own bench, which was on the same side of the field.

Carter was released by Montreal in October 2016 after a feud with quarterback Rakeem Cato. He signed with the Riders in January 2017.

Jennifer Graham, The Canadian Press

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