Mac Jones Explains What He Was Thinking On Brian Burns Ankle Grab

'I didn't mean to hurt anybody or anything like that'


Nov 8, 2021

Mac Jones shared his side of the controversial Brian Burns play during his Monday afternoon appearance on WEEI’s “Merloni & Fauria.”

The New England Patriots rookie quarterback said he grabbed Burns’ ankle because he thought the Carolina Panthers defensive end, who’d just caused a fumble with a strip sack, was running with the ball.

“After I got hit pretty hard, I didn’t know exactly what was going on,” Jones said. “I thought he had the ball and it was my job to make the tackle, and that’s pretty much it. Obviously, when you get up and see the ball is down the field a little bit more — it was just a bang-bang play.

“I didn’t mean to hurt anybody or anything like that. I was just trying to tackle him and make the play because I didn’t really know what was going on.”

Panthers edge rusher Haason Reddick called the play “completely dirty” and said he hopes the NFL takes action. Carolina head coach Matt Rhule, who coached Jones at the 2021 Senior Bowl, said he believed the QB should have been penalized. Rhule also said Burns, who later left the game, suffered an ankle sprain.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick defended Jones during an earlier WEEI appearance, saying the QB thought Burns had recovered the fumble.

“I just thought that’s what had happened, and I had to make the tackle,” Jones said on WEEI. “So I dd what I did in real time, and it just is what it is.”

Jones and Burns played against each other as Florida high schoolers, but the former said there was no rivalry or “beef” between the two.

“I was young in high school,” Jones said. “I don’t even know if he knew who I was at the time. He probably doesn’t even remember. But there’s no beef or anything like that.”

The NFL reportedly is reviewing the incident and could fine Jones if they determine he violated league rules.

“Hopefully, they see it how I saw it in the game and they don’t look too much more into it, because that’s what it was,” Jones said on WEEI.

Thumbnail photo via Jim Dedmon/USA TODAY Sports Images
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