On Sunday, after the New England Patriots’ 15-10 win in New York, star cornerback Sauce Gardner of the New York Jets suggested that Patriots quarterback Mac Jones might be keeping him from going forth and procreating by hitting him in his “private parts.” That might be a serious violation of the NFL’s unwritten rules, but it is not enough of a violation of the NFL’s written rules to warrant a suspension.
That’s the word from NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero, who wrote on Twitter on Tuesday, “#Patriots QB Mac Jones isn’t expected to be suspended for allegedly cup-checking #Jets CB Sauce Gardner in Sunday’s game. Jones said Monday nothing was intentional. The NFL reviews all plays and it’s possible, though not certain, that Jones could be fined.”
With the Patriots (1-2) facing a critical Week 4 road matchup against the Dallas Cowboys on October 1, this counts as good news. But, Pelissero noted, it’s entirely possible that Jones could again be fined for his questionable conduct, something that has happened at least three previous times in his three-year career.
Sauce Gardner Posted Alternate Mac Jones View
Gardner certainly would not mind a harsher penalty for Jones. After the play in question, which came during a pile-up following a quarterback sneak, Gardner was seen chasing after Jones, and he was afraid that he would be the one getting disciplinary action from the incident. That’s possible, but in an effort to get his side out there, Gardner shared a reverse angle on social media that shows Jones reaching out toward Gardner after the play.
“Posting this so I don’t get fined lol,” was his caption.
After the game on Sunday, Gardner offered his explanation of the Jones whack.
“He had got tackled,” Gardner said, per ESPN reporter Rich Cimini. “He reached his hand up to try to, like, get me to help him up. And I just moved his hand out of the way. Then, when he gets up [and] he just comes up to me like, ‘Good job.’ But while he said that … he hit me in my private parts. You know what I’m saying?”
Video showed Gardner going after Jones following the play. Gardner said the low blow was the reason.
“Man, my stomach hurt a little bit, you know what I mean? I don’t even know what to say. I do got to ice up. He’s trying to keep me from having kids in the future,” he said with a smile on his face. “He’s trippin’.”
Mac Jones Defends His Actions
Jones, for his part, insisted that he had no intention of hitting Gardner.
“Sauce is one of the best corners in the NFL,” he said during an appearance September 25 on WEEI. “I have a lot of respect for him. On that play, nothing was intentional. I just got up and went back to the huddle, and that’s it.”
But Jones has had other incidents with defenders around the NFL. He was accused of a “dirty play” by Bengals defensive back Eli Apple, and Panthers star Brian Burns said of play on which his leg was grabbed by Jones, “It’s some bull.”
Jones shrugged it off, though.
“Like I said, I can’t control that stuff,” Jones said. “I try to be really competitive and go out there and be a good teammate and compete, and come to work every day and work hard and put a lot of hours into it. I definitely care about football a lot and this game means a lot to me and it means a lot to a lot of other guys that I play with so I hope that they can see that.”