New England quarterback Mac Jones is being disciplined by the NFL for what is being deemed a “dirty play.” This is the second time this month Jones, the former Alabama standout, has been fined by the league.
The play in question occurred when a linebacker for the Cincinnati Bengals, Germaine Pratt, was attempting to return a fumble for a touchdown. Jones, while giving chase, dove to the ground in front of Bengals’ cornerback Eli Apple. This resulted in Apple tripping and falling to the field.
Apple was later asked after the game if he noticed the dive.
“Of course I did. He tripped me,” he said. “I thought it was a dirty play. He’s done that before, I’ve seen it.”
Jones, in an interview with the Boston Globe, gave his side of the story.
“I went down in front of him to kind of get in the way from slowing down Tyquan (Thornton), who obviously could make the tackle there,” Jones said. “So I just kind of went down in front of him, trying to stop a fast guy from getting to another fast guy.
“It’s a split-second decision, and there’s a lot that goes into it.”
He also said the play is relative to the hits that he takes as a quarterback.
“There’s no hard feelings and definitely no intention to hurt anybody on that play,” Jones said. “Nor do I believe that when I’m playing quarterback that’s what (the defense is trying to do). I get hit a lot, too.
“We’re all out there playing hard. It’s just part of the game.”
The official fine of $11,139 is standard for a first-time offender in what the league deems as a block below the waist on a change of possession play. The Bengals won 22-18.
Jones and the Patriots will play the Miami Dolphins minus Jones’ former Tide teammate Tua Tagovailoa at noon New Year’s Day.
Austen Shipley is a staff writer at Yellowhammer News.