Mac Jones: Low hit on Eli Apple just part of the game, no intent to injure

Cincinnati Bengals v New England Patriots
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Patriots quarterback Mac Jones addressed his low hit on Bengals cornerback Eli Apple on Monday.

Jones threw his body at Apple’s legs while Apple was chasing after Patriots wide receiver Tyquan Thornton in an attempt to stop Thornton from reaching Bengals linebacker Germaine Pratt after Pratt recovered an apparent fumble. The play was ultimately called an incomplete pass.

Low blocks in such situations are against league rules and Apple called it a dirty play after the game, but Jones was not penalized. During an appearance on WEEI, Jones explained what went into his decision to dive at Apple’s legs.

“Obviously, I went down in front of him to kind of get in the way, to stop him from slowing down Tyquan, who obviously could make the tackle there,” Jones said, via “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. I have all the respect for Eli and the Bengals. They played a great game. There’s no hard feelings and definitely no intention to hurt anybody on that play, nor do I believe that when I’m playing quarterback that’s what [the defense is trying to do]. I get hit a lot, too. We’re all out there playing hard, and it’s just part of the game.”

The NFL is expected to consider fining Jones for his actions, but a suspension is not thought to be a possibility.

30 responses to “Mac Jones: Low hit on Eli Apple just part of the game, no intent to injure

  1. The play looked bad but I wonder if he was really trying to draw a cheap block in the back flag on Apple. I see this all the time in college ball where guys flop in front of a defender to get him to run into him like a Jump Ball Joe special and hope the ref saw it.

    Still could have hurt him and I hope Jones isn’t getting a rep for that.

  2. If it’s a one-time thing, sure, you give him the benefit of the doubt.

    It’s not close to a one-time thing

  3. Cool. Let’s see how quickly he starts crying over a hit that comes a split second later than it should. This is what happens when the NFL treats Quarterbacks like precious little princesses….some (including Jones) start to believe that they can do nothing wrong.

  4. What part of the game is cutting a guy out at the lower legs that can have no impact on the play? Try tackling the guy with the ball next time.

  5. On a more important note, condolences to our friends in Eire County, NY who have lost 27 lives to this deadly storm.

  6. If Thornton obviously could have made the tackle, he would have. Jones could have simply ran in front of Apple to prevent a block. He went after Apple’s knees because he’s a bum.

  7. xney says:
    December 26, 2022 at 4:23 pm
    If it’s a one-time thing, sure, you give him the benefit of the doubt.

    It’s not close to a one-time thing


    Well if you are not giving him benefit of the doubt any more, then I guess your only other choice is to get over it.

  8. How many times do we have to attempt a dirty play from Mac Jones before we just all admit the guy is dirty…

    He was Dirty at Bolles…
    He was Dirty at Alabama…
    He is Dirty in New England.

  9. Dirty play. He’s done things like this before. Reminded me of the Marty Lyons cheap shot against Dwight Stephenson yrs ago. That ended Stephenson’s career and it was completely unnecessary.

  10. He’s a dirty player. He’s done this a few times. He also rolled up Brian Burns ankle last year and caused him to end up on the injury report. The refs intentionally ignore his bs, and he never gets fined. He’s the little punk QB version of Vontaze Burfict.

  11. The rules say that form of blocking is illegal. It does not matter what the “intention” was. In fact, that’s exactly why that kind of blocking is illegal: You can badly injure someone even when you are trying your best not to.

  12. I would have much stronger feelings about this if it was against literally anyone other than Eli Apple. No one likes him, so I’m indifferent

  13. If his intent was truly to block Apple the safer and smarter play for both players would be for him to simply step in front of him. He had the angle.

  14. Jones better have his head on a swivel during his NFL Career. The opponent will be coming after him with one purpose to take him out. The opponent will be putting an off the record bounty on him. Jones is clueless, he just raised the bar for defenses to make sure his career is short.

  15. Here’s hoping that NE is in QB purgatory for the next 20 years.

  16. It’s as much a part of the game as a very late hit to the QB is. Especially one that is directed at the QB’s head.

    Let’s see what Jones has to say about that when it happens.

  17. There’s nothing dirty about it. it wasn’ t a blind side hit, so there is nothing illegal about a simple block by throwing yourself to the ground to create a block.

    Defensive backs are constantly doing the same thing. OTs are going down and upending pass rushers off the edge.

    People’s obsession with all things Patriots is disturbing.

  18. People’s obsession with all things Patriots is disturbing.
    No, no, no. We’re LAUGHING at the Patriots. And BB.

  19. OK then Mac, thanks for letting all the defensive players in the NFL know what’s up and how you feel about playing dirty. The next time a defensive player finds himself in a situation where he could pull back or lay the wood to you, you’re cool with whatever happens because “it’s just part of the game” when you get rocked and end up on the IR. It’s not a matter of if, it’s pretty much enviable now.

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