By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
(UPDATE: Jones is reportedly not facing a suspension for the hit, but is being reviewed for a fine.)
Jonathan Jones delivered a violent hit that put Bills quarterback Josh Allen into the concussion protocol in the fourth quarter of the Patriots' 16-10 road win on Sunday. Is supplemental discipline coming for the Patriots cornerback?
The NFL has a bit of a challenging case as far as deciding whether to punish Jones any further for the hit. He drew a personal foul flag on the play due to obvious helmet-to-helmet contact, but avoided an ejection. Allen had to exit the game and enter the concussion protocol as a result.
NFL VP of officiating Al Riveron explained to a pool reporter after the game that his crew reviewed Jones' hit and concluded they "didn’t feel that that contact rose to the level of an ejection."
You can see in the below camera angle that Jones tries to establish shoulder contact at the last second and, due to Allen's posture, helmet contact was unavoidable. The clear helmet-to-helmet contact warranted the flag in real time, but it's a stretch to determine any kind of malicious intent or avoidable contact. Unfortunately for Allen, who was running forward with his helmet down, part of the responsibility for the helmet contact falls on him.
This angle shows why Jonathan Jones avoided an ejection. Trying to establish shoulder contact, neither lowered his helmet nor launched into Allen, and Allen is running forward with his helmet down. Perhaps an unnecessary hit, but Allen invited contact with the way he ran here. pic.twitter.com/eB2lKWZt7D
— Matt Dolloff (@mattdolloff) September 29, 2019
Per multiple reports, Jones said after the game that he had no malicious intent behind the hit and plans on reaching out to Allen. In the context of the play itself, Jones' only intent was to stop Allen from getting a first down. The hit stopped Allen one yard short.
We'll see if Jones avoids a fine, but it can be easily explained why the league decided not to eject him. That won't stop the play from garnering controversy around the league, considering the team Jones plays for and the fact that it resulted in Allen entering the concussion protocol.
But when you plow forward like Allen did with your head down, you're inviting contact with your helmet. The NFL tacitly admitted that with their decision not to discipline Jones beyond the flag.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at [email protected].