FOXBORO, Mass. — Chandler Jones made a pretty bad mistake last weekend, but it appears the New England Patriots organization has his back.
Jones apologized for his actions Thursday in a statement to the media, while head coach Bill Belichick briefly addressed the issue in his Thursday press conference. Patriots team president Jonathan Kraft backed both his coach and his defensive end when asked about Jones’ situation Saturday during his pregame radio appearance on 98.5 The Sports Hub.
“I think, as Bill said, our players’ health and safety is, by far and away, the most paramount thing,” Kraft said, via WEEI.com. “Hopefully, anybody, whether they’re in the organization or anywhere, when they’re at risk you go to the police. I think that’s a good thing.
“I think beyond that, Chandler has spoken publicly about this situation now and said he did something that was (pretty) stupid, apologized, acted contrite, and I think I’m going to leave it at that.”
Kraft also was asked whether the Patriots were concerned an NFL fact-finding mission could reveal possible substance abuse on Jones’ part.
“That’s something the league has to look at, and will be something they do,” Kraft said. “We’re happy that Chandler is healthy. That’s first and foremost, as Bill said.
“I think Chandler was very much the man when he came out this week and he said, ‘I did something stupid,’ and apologized. He hasn’t missed a meeting or an obligation in the building this week. The focus is going to be on the field here (Saturday). Chandler handled this appropriately, assuming the incident was going to happen. I think his words say it all.”
Jones didn’t receive any on-field discipline for his actions, as he started at defensive end for the Patriots in their AFC Divisional Playoff against the Kansas City Chiefs at Gillette Stadium.
Thumbnail photo via Stew Milne/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via New England Patriots defensive end Rob Ninkovich (50) and defensive end Chandler Jones (95) on the sideline during the fourth quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium.