Bills, Patriots players exchange shoves, punches before game

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) Several punches were thrown when a shoving match erupted between Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots players near the sideline about an hour before their game Sunday.

The altercation appeared to begin when Patriots starting quarterback Jacoby Brissett was jogging along the field and was shoved by Bills safety Robert Blanton. Brissett didn't stop, and New England rookie receiver Malcolm Mitchell retaliated by shoving Blanton.

Blanton responded by punching Mitchell in the chest and head-butting him, which led to several other players and assistant coaches getting involved.

Bills safety Aaron Williams shoved a Patriots assistant coach attempting to separate the players.

As the scuffles began to dissipate, Buffalo cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman landed a punch on Mitchell's facemask.

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This story has been corrected to reflect final paragraph reference to Mitchell instead of Blanton.

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AP NFL websites: http://pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

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