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Monday, August 29, 2011
Players tossed from Giants-Jets game

By Mike Mazzeo
Special to ESPNNewYork.com

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan referred to Monday night's preseason game between the Jets and the New York Giants as a "typical slugfest."

He was right. Literally.

Giants running back Brandon Jacobs and Jets rookie defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson were ejected in the third quarter of the Jets' 17-3 preseason victory after attempting to swing at one another.

After Giants wide receiver Mario Manningham hauled in a seven-yard catch with 8:37 left in the third, television replays showed Jacobs slapping Wilkerson away from the play. Wilkerson then attempted to take a swing at Jacobs before he was wrestled to the ground by Giants left tackle Will Beatty. They continued to jaw at one another before being separated by their teammates.

Both were immediately assessed offsetting disqualification penalties and headed to their respective sidelines. Jacobs seemed animated as he sat on the Giants' bench.

"I can understand it because I think both guys swung at each other," Ryan said. "I think both guys swung at each other. Our guy swung second. He swung hard but he swung second."

Said Giants head coach Tom Coughlin: "Yeah, it's not good football. I didn't really see either one. You don't want it. One of their players is out, one of our players is out. You can't lose your cool, which is the message, really. When you do, you're going to pay the consequences. We got a penalty. We didn't have to have a penalty, and we get two players ejected from the game -- of theirs, one of ours."

Wilkerson, the Jets' first-round pick out of Temple, wasn't in the rookie locker room for comment, while Jacobs declined comment when asked about the incident by ESPN NewYork.com. It's possible the players could face discipline from the league because of the incident.

The game, originally scheduled for Saturday night, was postponed to Monday because of Hurricane Irene. Both teams' offenses struggled to do much with their starters in, and the game took on a sloppy tone early and lasted throughout as 16 penalties were called -- seven on the Jets and nine on the Giants.

The teams meet again -- for real -- in Week 16 of the regular season on Christmas Eve in a game that may have playoff implications for both.

"I don't know if there are any tickets available to that Dec. 24 game, but I think we just sold them because that was a typical Jets-Giants slugfest right there," Ryan said. "That's two good football teams going at it. Obviously, it's a preseason game, but it is great competition, there's no doubt and the fireworks will fly come Dec. 24, that's for sure."

Mike Mazzeo is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.