This isn’t necessarily how rookie second-round pick Ra’Shede Hageman wanted to start his pro career. The massive and talented defensive lineman apparently fractured his wrist after punching teammate Joe Hawley in practice on Sunday (via Atlanta Journal-Constitution).
AJC writer Tanya Sichynsky had this to say about the incident.
…Rookie defensive end Ra’Shede Hageman and center Joe Hawley were the foundation of a massive heap of bodies. Hageman had swung at Hawley, and the two went at it, each drawing the support of their respective linemen.
Shortly after the fight, Hageman departed practice for the locker room and wasn’t seen on the field again.
A hairline fracture of the wrist is 4 week injury, according to medical source. But very possible to pad and play immediately, source says
— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) August 3, 2014
While the injury doesn’t seem to be too serious, it’s alarming for a number of reasons. Hageman fell to the second round of the draft in part due to some character questions. Getting into a fight with a veteran teammate during summer practice is one thing. Doing so as a rookie when you have past issues, is a completely different thing.
At the very least, Hageman should be ready to go by Week 1. And the Falcons are going to need him as they make the difficult transition from a 4-3 to a 3-4 on the defensive side of the ball.