Mac Jones Injures Brian Burns, Under Fire For Dirty Play on Sunday
Former Alabama quarterback and New England Patriots first round draft pick Mac Jones is catching some heat from fans and media after Sunday's game with the Carolina Panthers.
Jones is seen on camera attacking and twisting the ankle of Panthers linebacker Brian Burns after Burns sacked him and forced a fumble.
Burns was injured on the play and had to miss some time, though he would return to the contest later. However near the end of the game Burns re-injured his ankle and had to be helped off.
“Definitely thought it was a dirty play,” Panthers linebacker Haason Reddick said after the game. “I actually saw and witnessed the play as it was happening, as I was running, him seeing them over there. First of all, he was trying to trip or kick Burns and then next thing you notice, I saw him tugging on Burns’ ankle. I thought it was completely dirty. Hopefully, it’s something that the league addresses.”
Jones has largely played well for the Patriots and ultimately led the AFC East squad to a 24-6 victory over the Carolina Panthers. However, the rookie, needs to be careful that he doesn't develop the reputation of a "dirty player".
At an objective level, Jones is highly competitive and is certainly allowing those instincts take over by trying to prevent Burns from scooping up a loose ball. However Jones takes his competitive nature to another, dirty, level by twisting the ankle and sweeping his plant leg to take him off his feet.
The NFL is a brotherhood, or so, many players claim it is. Every player is out there trying to perform at the highest level in a violent game, injuries are going to happen naturally when some of the world's best athletes collide at high rates of speed.
No player should be going out of their way to injure another player, not only is it dirty from a football standpoint but its dirty from a livelihood standpoint.
The average NFL career lasts less than four years, less than the length of the typical rookie contract. A player's earning potential is limited to that short time and an injury can limit that even further.
Jones is the Patriots starting quarterback and one of 53 players on their team, he is ultimately responsible to the Patriots and their organization but he is also in the NFL and a member of the NFL Players Association by default.
He has an obligation to play as hard as he can and lead his team to the best of his ability but he also has an obligation as one of the 1,696 players in the NFL to protect his brothers and not create unnecessary harm on others.
Mac Jones may not be a dirty player but Its hard to argue that he didn't go overboard on Sunday.