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Roman Harper hit leads to Steve Smith-Malcolm Jenkins fight

Pittsburgh Steelers v Carolina Panthers

CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 01: Teammates Cam Newton #1 and Steve Smith #89 of the Carolina Panthers talk on the bench during their preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Bank of America Stadium on September 1, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

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Tempers flared in Carolina today, and it should come as no surprise that the hot-tempered Steve Smith was in the middle of things -- but Smith had every right to be angry when he was on the receiving end of a cheap shot after scoring a touchdown.

It all started with a great play by Smith, who out-jumped Jabari Greer to catch a Cam Newton pass, then shoved Greer to the ground and raced to the end zone for a touchdown. Smith had clearly already crossed the goal line when Saints defensive back Roman Harper drilled him, drawing a penalty for a late hit.

At first Smith didn’t react, but when players from both teams got into a scrum in the end zone, Smith began fighting with Saints defensive back Malcolm Jenkins. Smith ended up yanking Jenkins by the facemask, and players on both teams were pushing and shoving. Newton was among the players who ran into the end zone to get into the middle of things.

Harper was the only player called for a penalty (15 yards on the ensuing kickoff), and no one was ejected. But it was an ugly scene that’s likely to result in several players being fined.