New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones received fines totaling $23,976 for two unnecessary roughness calls in last week’s loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, per multiple reports.
In the Dec. 24 game in Foxboro, Mass., Jones dropped to the ground in front of Cincinnati cornerback Eli Apple during a return of a possible fumble, resulting in the first fine of $13,367. The fumble was ultimately overturned.
“He tripped me,” Apple said after the game, according to NESN.com. “I thought it was a dirty play. He’s done that before, I’ve seen it.”
Jones, 24, tried to explain his actions in an interview with WEEI on Monday. “Obviously, I went down in front of him to kind of get in the way, to stop him from slowing down Tyquan (Thornton), who obviously could make the tackle there,” Jones said.
“Just kind of went down in front of him and tried to stop a fast guy from getting to another fast guy. Just a split-second decision, and there’s a lot that goes into it. You’re out there trying to compete, and it’s a physical game, so just trying to help the team win.”
The second fine, for $10,609, was related to a play late in the fourth quarter of the Bengals’ 22-18 victory.
The Patriots had scored 18 unanswered points and had a first down at the Cincinnati 5-yard line when New England running back Rhamondre Stevenson lost a fumble. Jones received a penalty after trying to get the ball from B.J. Hill, the Bengals defensive lineman who recovered the fumble.
“I think, obviously, there’s a little bit of a pile there,” Jones said of that play after the game. “Then the ball squirted out actually into another pile. I went over there and tried to grab the ball to save the game, so at the end of the day, you’ve got to take your chance and try to get the ball, got to compete for the ball because it’s a live ball until somebody holds it up in the air. You got to go get it, and that’s what I tried to do.”
Jones had already been fined once this season. He was given a $10,609 fine for unsportsmanlike conduct after flipping the football at a Buffalo Bills defender in a 24-10 loss on Dec. 1.
The total dollar amounts for fines are determined by the league’s collective bargaining agreement.
–Field Level Media