Panthers call out Mac Jones for ‘dirty play’ that injured Brian Burns

"Hopefully, it’s something that the league addresses."

Mac Jones dirty play
Mac Jones of the Patriots calls a play at the line during the third quarter against the Carolina Panthers. Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

Panthers players and coaches were less than thrilled with Mac Jones after Sunday’s game, calling out the Patriots QB for a “dirty play.”

The play took place in the first quarter. Jones dropped back to throw, and Panthers defensive end Brian Burns beat the Patriots’ offensive line to Jones’ blindside. Burns leveled Jones with a hit that jarred the ball loose and sent the rookie sprawling.

Then Jones grabbed Burns as he rose to pursue the play. Jones was only visible on screen for a second, but Burns could be seen dragging Jones along behind him for a moment as Jones gripped his ankle. Burns spun away from Jones attempting to free himself and appeared to be in some pain afterward.


Here’s a look at the play.

“I definitely thought it was a dirty play,” Carolina linebacker Haason Reddick said after the game. “I actually saw and witnessed the play as it was happening, as I was running, him seeing them over there. First of all, he was trying to trip or kick Burns, and then next thing you notice, I saw him tugging on Burns’ ankle.

“I thought it was completely dirty. Hopefully, it’s something that the league addresses.”

Panthers coach Matt Rhule seemed to agree, although he tried to be more measured in his tone.

“Just from looking at the replay, I thought that maybe a foul should have been called,” he said. “I don’t want to call out any other players or anything like that. I’m always going to protect our guys. It looked like it was an injury that happened after the play, so I was just kind of defending Brian.”

Jones was not asked about the play after the game. Rhule noted, when asked, that players are allowed to grab each other to prevent pursuit of a loose ball.

CBS’s broadcast offered some context to the play.

Burns was hurt on the play, but he returned to action. He later left the game a second time with a separate ankle injury.


“I understand it, understand everybody wants to win, but I don’t think there’s room for things like that inside of the game,” Reddick said. “At the end of the day, we are playing a game. I think everybody needs to be respectful. Nobody wants to see anybody get hurt. I know I don’t.

“So for something like that to happen and for no penalty, nothing to be thrown, I just think it’s egregious, man. I think it’s egregious. I think it’s unfair and I really do hope that the league addresses it.”


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