BRADY HENDERSON

Frank Clark said he learned his lesson after punching Germain Ifedi

Aug 16, 2017, 5:57 PM | Updated: 6:12 pm

RENTON – Speaking publicly about his fight with teammate Germain Ifedi for the first time since it happened almost two weeks ago, Seahawks defensive end Frank Clark expressed regret over the incident and said he’s learned from it. He told reporters Wednesday that he apologized to the team as a whole and to Ifedi individually for punching him in the face.

“The biggest message was just letting them know how remorseful I was,” Clark said when asked what he told the team. “I just wanted to let them know that I was actually sorry, and I wanted to really let (Ifedi) know that I was sorry, besides the team. That was my biggest thing. I just wanted to let him know that it was my fault and that it would never get to that point again. I’m sure things are going to get heated again. It’s football, it’s offensive line and defensive line, but you have to be aware of those situations and know how to take your actions out another kind of way.”

The fight occurred during an Aug. 3 practice when Clark punched a helmetless Ifedi amid a scrum of offensive and defensive linemen. Clark was ejected from that practice and missed the next four. The reason for his absence weren’t entirely clear. Coach Pete Carroll said at the time that Clark was dealing with a minor knee injury but implied that he was being held out of practice as a disciplinary measure, which Clark seemed to dispute in a series of tweets about his knee.

“It was really stepping out of line,” Carroll said last week about Clark’s punch.

Clark said Wednesday he was held out the first day as punishment and that his knee injury – which he called a Grade 1 sprain to his MCL – kept him out beyond that. Clark said the injury occurred in the same practice as the fight but before the altercation. He estimated that he’s about 85-90 percent recovered.

“I look at it like a learning thing, because the time that I was out and the time that I got to sit down and think about everything that happened once everything slowed down, it really gave me time to understand where I was wrong and how I can get better for the future,” said Clark.

Ifedi missed three full days of practice after the fight, which left him with a noticeably swollen lip. Clark said the two have smoothed things over.

“It was more of a heat-of-the-moment thing,” Clark said. “I let my emotions overcome the situation. For a brief moment, I thought that … I was bigger than the team in all regards. I thought about myself first before I thought my defense as a whole, and my defensive line to be more specific, because it was a one-on-one drill. That’s basically it. It was an overheated thing. We always get heated up; it’s O-line and D-line, it’s supposed to happen. It just got took too far, that’s all.”

Clark said general manager John Schneider talked with him after the incident.

“He came up to me and said, ‘Do we got to have another one of those conversations?’ And the first thing I said was, ‘Nah,’ because at the end of the day, three years in, I understand,” Clark said. “I understand now what it takes to be a part of this team and what it takes to be a part of the NFL.”

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Frank Clark said he learned his lesson after punching Germain Ifedi