Josh Allen left Sunday’s game after a brutal helmet-to-helmet hit from New England Patriots cornerback Jonathan Jones.
Patriots safety Duron Harmon had wrapped up the scrambling Buffalo Bills quarterback on the fourth quarter play when Jones attacked from another angle with his head down, landing a direct blow to Allen’s head that left him down and woozy on the field and ultimately ended his day.
After the Patriots’ 16-10 victory, Bills head coach Sean McDermott blasted the hit and announced that Allen was in concussion protocol.
Sean McDermott: Jones should have been ejected
“There's no room in football for that," McDermott told reporters. “It's a shame to see a player like Josh, or any player, to go down from a hit like that.”
Jones was flagged for a personal foul on the play that was offset by a holding call against the Bills. He was not ejected.
McDermott said he should have been.
“I asked for an explanation,” McDermott said. “I thought he should've been thrown out.”
What if the hit had happened to Tom Brady?
Bills safety Micah Hyde agreed, asking how a similar hit on Patriots quarterback Tom Brady would have been handled.
“That was the first thing that came out my mouth on the sideline,” Hyde said. “If one of us did that to [Brady], we wouldn't have been in the game anymore.”
NFL explains why Jones wasn’t ejected
NFL vice president of officiating Al Riveron faced questioning about the decision and explained the reason for officials allowing Jones to continue to play.
“Well, we looked at it, and in this situation, we didn’t feel that that contact rose to the level of an ejection,” Riveron told reporters. “The player actually turns. Obviously, there is helmet contact, but we have standards for an ejection, and this does not rise to that standard.”
Riveron partly explained the lack of an ejection by saying that the player turned. Video, meanwhile, shows a direct hit to the head.
Will Jones be suspended instead?
Jones told reporters after the game that he did not intend to injure Allen with the hit.
In 2017, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was flagged, but not ejected for a head blow to Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White. The NFL thought better of the ruling after the game and suspended him for one game for the hit that left White concussed.
Burfict ejected for similar hit
Earlier in the day, Oakland Raiders linebacker Vontaze Burfict was ejected for a similar hit on Indianapolis Colts tight end Jack Doyle.
Burfict lowered his head and landed a direct blow to the crown of Doyle’s head.
Burfict’s reputation preceded him
It was an ugly play and one that came attached with Burfict’s reputation as perhaps the dirtiest player in football.
Burfict has incurred more than $4.2 million in fines and been suspended 10 games during his NFL career, much of that tally due to similar hits to the one he laid on Doyle.
Jones doesn’t have the kind of reputation Burfict does.
It’s safe to ask that if he did, if he would have been ejected for his hit on Allen.
Both of these hits are the exact kind of plays football is trying to legislate out of the game. They endanger the long-term health of players and the viability of football in general.
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