Tom Coughlin: Jalen Ramsey 'Playing Within the Rules' Before A.J. Green Fight

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistNovember 7, 2017

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (18) takes down Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey (20) during a fight in the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

Jacksonville Jaguars executive vice president Tom Coughlin is in cornerback Jalen Ramsey's corner.

Coughlin released a statement Tuesday saying Ramsey was "playing football within the rules" before he and Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green were ejected from Sunday's contest. Ramsey pushed Green, but the receiver responded by putting the cornerback in a headlock, taking him to the ground and throwing punches.

Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk shared Coughlin's statement:

"Our players are instructed to not retaliate or get involved or do anything that would result in eviction because that would hurt the team. Team comes first, and Jalen was trying to not hurt his team. While he did push his opponent—something that happened with other players during the game—he did not retaliate, he threw no punches, and he did not fight back. Jalen was doing what Coach [Doug] Marrone has instructed him to do, which is to play tough, be physical and to make every play difficult for his opponent. There was banter going back and forth during the game, but Jalen was playing football within the rules."

Alper noted neither player was suspended for their actions, though he granted Green will likely see a "sizable fine."

While Green took things further than Ramsey on the field and escalated the trash talking into a fight, Michael DiRocco and Katherine Terrell of reported Ramsey was restrained by security and seen walking toward the Bengals' locker room.

"He started screaming profanities once he spotted them" and "was also heard yelling that he was going to go find Green once security let him go," DiRocco and Terrell wrote.

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According to Ryan O'Halloran of the Florida Times-Union, referee Brad Allen said officials warned the two players about their back-and-forths before the incident. Allen went as far as to call Ramsey the "instigator" even though Green retaliated in such a noticeable manner.

Ramsey's Jaguars ultimately got the best of Green's Bengals in a 23-7 victory at EverBank Field, and the cornerback's ability to limit Cincinnati's top receiver to just one catch for six yards played a primary role in the outcome.