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Bengals' Eli Apple Calls out Patriots' Mac Jones for 'Dirty' Low Block

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVDecember 25, 2022

FOXBOROUGH, MA - DECEMBER 24: Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Eli Apple (20) reacts during a game between the New England Patriots and the Cincinnati Bengals on December 24, 2022, at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Erica Denhoff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Erica Denhoff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Mac Jones may be developing a reputation as a dirty player.

Bengals cornerback Eli Apple criticized Jones after the Patriots quarterback was called for a low block in Cincinnati's 22-18 win over New England on Saturday.

"Of course I did [notice it]. He tripped me," Apple said, per Sean T. McGuire of NESN. "I thought it was a dirty play. He's done that before, I've seen it."

It's hard to not agree with Apple's assessment of the play in question. The two were not particularly close to the play when Jones drove into Apple's knees during a Bengals fumble return that was later ruled an incomplete pass.

According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the NFL will review the play to determine if Jones should face any discipline. The league has increasingly cracked down on plays below the knees, hoping to avoid serious leg injuries.

Jones dove at Apple's knees and risked injuring him in what appeared to be an outburst of frustration. Patriots fans loudly booed their second-year quarterback and chanted for fourth-round rookie Bailey Zappe as Jones struggled early in the loss.

This is not Jones' first time being accused of dirty play, either. Carolina Panthers linebacker Brian Burns called Jones out for twisting his ankle in a pile last season. Jones said he believed Burns had the ball and was ultimately not punished by the league.