Miami veteran safety Reshad Jones turned heads on Sunday when he pulled himself from the Dolphins’ 13-6 win against the New York Jets.
Jones played just 10 snaps in the first quarter of the game, and simply didn’t return to the game after he was taken out before the fourth defensive series.
According to ESPN’s Cameron Wolfe, Jones was taken out by defensive coordinator Matt Burke, who was rotating starting defensive backs out of the game in an effort to make rookie Minkah Fitzpatrick a full-time player. Burke sat cornerback Bobby McCain for the first two drives of the game, and sat T.J. McDonald for the third drive. The rotation plan was known well ahead of the game, but was reportedly not “universally accepted” throughout the defense.
Jones — who has been with the team since 2010 and is one of the longest-tenured defensive players on the team — is the only one who didn’t return to the game.
The 30-year-old, though, said he had no regrets.
“I’ve never been a quitter,” Jones told ESPN. “I’ve been here nine years, playing my ass off for this team, never been a quitter, never will.”
Jones — who signed a five-year, $60 million extension with the Dolphins in 2017 — went to head coach Adam Gase’s office on Sunday afternoon after the win to explain himself, and talked with teammates and coaches this week. According to the report, everyone is now “on the same page.”
Gase said he will not suspend Jones, and that he will play on Sunday when the Dolphins take on the Green Bay Packers. Any discipline handed down from the incident, Gase also said, will be kept internal.
“All of that stuff, that’s between all of those guys, and they’re going to keep that in house,” Gase said on Wednesday, via ESPN. “I don’t think you’re going to get anybody talking about that. We handled what we needed to handle, and we’re moving on.”
While his departure was strange, Jones — who has 59 total tackles and two interceptions so far this season — sounded committed to taking the field again this weekend.
“Whatever the coaching staff says we have to do, that’s what we’re willing to do,” Jones told ESPN. “I’ve been one of the best safeties in the league for a long time, and I’ll continue to fight and play my ass off for this team.”
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