AP Photo/Charles Krupa
New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones will reportedly be fined $11,139 for his low hit on Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Eli Apple on Saturday, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.
Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network had previously reported that Jones would not be suspended.
Jones appeared to go out of his way to take out Apple’s legs after a Cincinnati fumble. He chased down linebacker Germaine Pratt, who had scooped up the ball, and appeared to target Apple behind the play.
Apple accused Jones of being a dirty player after the game.
“Of course I did [notice it]. He tripped me up, he told NESN Sean T. McGuire. “I thought it was a dirty play. He’s done it before; I’ve seen it.”
NFL Twitter sided with Apple:
Ross Tucker @RossTuckerNFL
So Mac Jones laid down instead of tackling Chandler Jones and does this? pic.twitter.com/QYH1Ns7Lua
Charean Williams @NFLCharean
Mac Jones has earned his reputation as one of the dirtiest players in the league. https://t.co/gFHLZ9cslb
Dov Kleiman @NFL_DovKleiman
Mac Jones is a dirty player – Compilation video from 4 different events from his two year career. pic.twitter.com/LFDUugodvA
It is not the first time Jones has been accused of foul play by an opponent. In 2021, Carolina Panthers edge rusher Brian Burns called him out for grabbing his leg after a strip-sack:
“Looking at the replay and looking at all the angles and everything, I think it’s bull. I think it’s bull for him to take his legs – because the main thing is he took my legs and swept the one leg I had up , you know what I mean? I think it’s a bull. And his explanation for it – because he thought I had the ball – I don’t think you could believe a person has the ball. As soon as I kicked you, you grabbed my arm min And then everyone ran past us.
“Even if you thought I had the ball, it’s not legal to trip someone or leg sweep someone, let alone twist [an] ankle; it is not legal to do so. Everyone else ran past us. If I had the ball, don’t you think I would have been tackled? Or will your teammate help? So I don’t think it’s cool, but it’s whatever.”
It’s not a reputation Jones wants to promote around the league.
In the short term, however, the biggest concern is that the Patriots have lost four of their last five games and are one game behind the Miami Dolphins for the final playoff spot in the AFC.
Jones’ mediocre play (2,550 passing yards, nine touchdowns, eight interceptions, 65.6 completion percentage, 30 sacks) during his sophomore campaign has played a big role in New England’s struggles.
Huge AFC East showdowns with Dolphins and Buffalo Bills. It’s a tough way to end the season for a team — and quarterback — looking to salvage their postseason aspirations.