Things are not going well for the Washington Football Team on “Sunday Night Football.” As of this writing, the Team trails by four touchdowns against its division rival, and worse yet, the players are fighting among each other on the sideline.
During the NBC broadcast, defensive linemen Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne were spotted having some sort of argument. Payne pointedly put one of his fingers into Allen’s face, seemingly lecturing his teammate. That’s when Allen snapped, batted Payne’s finger away, and then took a swing at his defensive linemate.
Allen and Payne were previously college teammates at Alabama. Washington drafted each of them in the first round, making Allen the No. 17 overall pick in 2017 and Payne the No. 13 pick in 2018. They have combined to be one of the better interior defensive line pairings in the NFL, though the defense overall has been far less effective this season than it was a year ago.
Perhaps the frustrations with how that defense is performing — not just tonight, but all year — finally boiled over. Or perhaps there’s some other explanation. Playing on the same team and in the same position group as somebody for a long period of time could bring up any number of problems, of course. Whatever the issue, Washington would surely prefer that the two players settle it in some way other than sideline fisticuffs.