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Carolina Panthers linebacker Haason Reddick called out Mac Jones on Sunday afternoon for what he saw as an “egregious” and “completely dirty” play in the first quarter of their 24-6 loss to the New England Patriots.
Jones, who lost the ball after being sacked by Brian Burns in the first quarter, held onto Burns’ ankle as he twisted to get away — something that forced the Panthers defensive end to miss part of the game.
"I thought it was completely dirty. Hopefully, it’s something that the league addresses," Panthers defender Haason Reddick said of this ankle-grab by Patriots QB Mac Jones against Brian Burns. pic.twitter.com/e30I6M49tS
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“Definitely thought it was a dirty play," Reddick said, via ESPN. "I actually saw and witnessed the play while it was happening. At first it felt like he was trying to 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."
Jones wasn’t called for a penalty on the play, and referee Clete Blakeman said it was a “subjective call,” via ESPN.
Both Reddick and Panthers coach Matt Rhule, however, thought a penalty of some kind should’ve been called on the play.
"I don't want to call out any of their players or anything like that," Rhule said, via ESPN. "I'm always gonna protect our guys, and it looked like it was an injury that happened after the play."
Jones finished the day throwing 12 of 19 for 139 yards with one touchdown and one interception in the win, the Patriots' third straight.
Burns did return to the game after his initial injury in the incident with Jones, but left again in the fourth quarter with another injury to his right ankle. It’s not clear how severe the injury is or what specifically is wrong, but Reddick said that Burns told him he’d be fine.
While he gets that “everybody is out there competing,” Riddick is furious that Jones wasn’t called for a penalty on a play that hurt one of his teammates.
"It seems they always are protecting the offensive players," Reddick said, via ESPN. "There's the protection for the defensive players as well.
"That was a call that shouldn't be missed. I'm going to speak out on it, whatever the consequences are. It looked completely intentional from where I was standing, and I was pretty close. …For no penalty, nothing to be thrown, it's egregious, I think it's unfair. I really do hope the league addresses it."