The New England Patriots defeated the Carolina Panthers 24-6 on Sunday.
Unfortunately, the win did not come without controversy. In addition to the usual Sam Darnold-related drama, a more serious situation unfolded as well.
With just under a minute remaining in the first quarter and the score tied at zero, Patriots quarterback Mac Jones got himself strip-sacked. As various Carolina players scrambled to get hold of the ball, Jones seemed to grab and hold the ankle of Panthers defensive lineman Brian Burns.
Here’s the video of Mac Jones grabbing Brian Burns ankle (just follow those two and you’ll see it). pic.twitter.com/OKWgBwIN9c
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) November 7, 2021
Although no flag was called on the play, Burns ultimately went to the medical tent afterward and later left the game in the fourth quarter with an injury to the same ankle.
After the game, Panthers linebacker Haason Reddick described Jones’ play as dirty.
“Definitely thought it was a dirty play,” Reddick said. “I actually saw and witnessed the play while it was happening. At first it felt like he was trying trip or kick Burns. And the next thing you know I saw him tugging on Burns’ ankle. I thought it was completely dirty. Hopefully, it’s something the league addresses.
“For no penalty, nothing to be thrown, it’s egregious, I think it’s unfair. I really do hope the league addresses it.”
On Monday, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick appeared on The Greg Hill Show and addressed the controversial play.
Here’s Bill’s *ahem* short answer on #Patriots QB Mac Jones twisting the ankle of #Panthers Brian Burns on a tackle. Catch Bill’s full interview on the @WEEI Facebook page right now! pic.twitter.com/1hat4RTLgu
— The Greg Hill Show (@TheGregHillShow) November 8, 2021
“I think he thought Burns had the ball,” Belichick said.
Later on Monday, a new alternate angle video of the incident emerged. In many people’s minds, it cemented the perception of Jones’ actions on that specific sequence.
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) November 8, 2021
The fact that there were no whistles on this play is telling. Officiating has been a popular topic of debate so far in 2021 – and this will be more par for the course.
How will this outcry ultimately impact Jones on similar plays going forward? Time will tell.
That’s one way to do Halloween. https://t.co/YmqiqaNaYN
— Game 7 (@game7__) November 1, 2021