New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones has come under fire for his low block on Cincinnati Bengals corner EIi Apple in Week 16.
Now, one surprising player is coming to Jones’ defense.
Carolina Panthers defensive end Brian Burns and Jones were involved in an incident in 2021, when the quarterback appeared to twist Burns’ ankle. Burns did not take kindly to the incident at the time, wishing ‘happy hunting’ on Jones to opposing defenders. The two reconciled and have put the incident behind them. Now, Burns is in Jones’ corner.
Reaction has been swift and strong in regards to Jones’ block, with the video of the play itself going viral on Twitter. However, Burns did not seem to think the block was malicious, as he told FOX Sports’ Sheena Quick.
“I don’t know. I think he was just trying to draw a penalty, like push him back or something. I don’t think it was nothing crazy,” said Burns.
Jones was fined $11,139 by the league for his play on Apple. Some think the fine was a good enough punishment, while others might believe more should have been done to the second-year quarterback.
In either case, the Patriots—and particularly coach Bill Belichick—are ready to put this entire incident in the rearview.