DETROIT Nate Burleson was working on a blocking sled and didnt see Titus Young punch Louis Delmas at last weeks workout.
But Burleson, one of the Lions most influential leaders, said the incident that led to Youngs indefinite banishment is being overblown.
It didnt result in any bloody lips or black eyes, Burleson said.
"I dont really know if it was a punch, a push, a shove," he said.
And no matter what it was, Burleson said "its one of those things that happen all the time" when grown men get together on the football field. Early in his career with the Minnesota Vikings, Burleson said he even saw Brock Lesnar, a former wrestler and MMA champion who briefly played defensive end, suplex an opponent during a scrimmage with the Chiefs.
"To be honest, when I played in Minnesota, we fought like every other day, and we were the closest team that Ive been on up to that point," Burleson said. "So a scuffle that happens one in every what, about eight months, nine months here, thats something rare. That just shows you we dont even do it often."
Young is not taking part in organized team activities for now.
Burleson said hes not sure whether Young will play in the charity softball game hes hosting next month, and he deferred questions on Youngs return to coach Jim Schwartz.
Schwartz declined comment on the incident after practice Monday.
Burleson said he has traded text messages recently with Young, who he has tried to mentor since the Lions drafted him in Round 2 out of Boise State last year, and that Young is working out on his own.
"Titus is probably one of the hungriest young athletes Ive been around, and thats where a lot of his emotion and passion come from," Burleson said. "And I feel like a lot of guys on the team are close to him, but Ive probably been more hands on than anything. I love him like a little brother, so Im just looking for him to get back to work."
Young was a valuable part of the offense as a rookie, catching 48 passes the same number Calvin Johnson had his first season with six touchdowns.
But his history of erratic behavior includes a 10-game suspension as a sophomore at Boise State for violating team rules and a benching for most of the second half of a game last year against the New Orleans Saints for shoving an opponent in the face, and is a serious concern for a team that has had its share of troubling incidents the past six months.
Three of Youngs draft classmates Nick Fairley, Mikel Leshoure and Johnny Culbreath have pleaded guilty to or been arrested for possession of marijuana, and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh served a two-game suspension last year for stomping on an opponents arm.
Burleson said the Lions "have to dial down our emotion" at times and "know how to channel our energy in the right direction and utilize it for our benefit." But he said chemistry is not an issue.
"Were not concerned," Burleson said. "There isnt any cancers on this team or anybody thats dragging us down. We have a strong team, were headed in the right direction since I signed here a couple years ago, and we have done nothing but improve and the organization has done nothing but make great decisions and putting guys in Lions jerseys.
"So Im not going to start questioning the organization and the people they select to come here because of a couple mistakes, because in life thats going to happen, especially when youre young. I just hope that people, one, dont listen to exaggerated stories and, two, realize that we all make mistakes."