BOSTON (CBS) — Mac Jones took a sack from his blind side late in the first quarter on Sunday in Carolina, coughing up the football as a result. In an effort to prevent the Panthers from recovering the loose ball, he tried to stop the man who sacked him from getting involved in the play.
In the process, he left that player — Brian Burns — injured.
After Burns delivered a jarring hit on Jones, he got to his feet in pursuit of the loose ball. Jones, lying on the turf, grabbed at Burns’ ankle and hauled him down to the ground.
Burns takes down Mac Jones and Luvu recovers
📺: CBS pic.twitter.com/htMtFu50P2
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) November 7, 2021
Panthers linebacker Frankie Luvu recovered the ball and returned it seven yards to the Patriots’ 33-yard line. But Burns wasn’t able to celebrate, as he was down on the turf in pain.
Eventually, Burns was helped to the sideline with a bit of a limp.
It was unclear in live speed what had happened to Burns, but a second look showed Jones grabbing at Burns’ ankle.
— Bill Voth (@PanthersBill) November 7, 2021
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
Such an action feels ripe for a penalty — holding, or perhaps an unsportsmanlike conduct — but no penalty was called on the play. The Panthers would end up settling for a field goal on the ensuing possession.
Fortunately for Burns, he wasn’t out long, as he returned to the field on the Patriots’ next offensive possession.
After the game — which the Patriots won 24-6 — Burns’ teammate was not at all happy with what Jones did.
“First of all, he was trying to trip or kick Burns, and then that’s when you’ll notice, I saw him tugging on Burns’ ankle,” Reddick said. “I thought it was completely dirty. Hopefully it’s something that the league addresses. … I think it was surprising to not see that a penalty was called. It seems like they’re always protecting the offensive players. Where is the protection for the defensive players as well? I don’t know. I felt like that was a call that shouldn’t be missed. I’m going to speak out on it, whatever the consequences are. However the referees feel, that’s how they feel.”
Reddick added: “It looked completely intentional from where I was standing, and I was pretty close. And I don’t think that was a call that should have been missed.”