Carolina pass rusher Brian Burns came streaking off the edge late in the first quarter of Sunday's 24-6 loss to the New England Patriots, belting quarterback Mac Jones and forcing a fumble recovered by the Panthers.
It's what happened after Burns' crushing sack that left Carolina teammate Haason Reddick hot after the contest. Replay showed that Jones grabbed Burns' foot as he attempted to get to the loose ball. As the rusher tried to twist away, the QB continued to hold on. Burns injured his ankle on the play and was in the medical tent for a spell.
"Definitely thought it was a dirty play," Reddick said, via ESPN. "I actually saw and witnessed the play while it was happening. At first it felt like he was trying trip or kick Burns. And the next thing you know I saw him tugging on Burns' ankle. I thought it was completely dirty. Hopefully, it's something the league addresses."
There was no penalty on Jones on the play. Referee Clete Blakeman told a pool reporter after the game the hold was a "subjective call" and noted the league would deal with whether it should have been flagged in the evaluation of the crew.
NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Monday that the league is reviewing Jones' play as part of its standard review process. Pelissero added that Jones could face a fine for the play but not anything more severe.
"It seems they always are protecting the offensive players," Reddick said. "There's the protection for the defensive players as well. That was a call that shouldn't be missed. I'm going to speak out on it, whatever the consequences are. It looked completely intentional from where I was standing, and I was pretty close. I don't think that was a call that should have been missed."
Jones was not asked about the play after the game but did not address it Monday on local radio.
"After I got hit pretty hard, I didn't really know what was going on," Jones said, per ESPN.com. "I thought he had the ball. It's my job to try to make the tackle. That was pretty much it. Obviously, when you get up and see the ball is actually down the field a little bit more; it's just a bang-bang play. I didn't mean to hurt anybody or anything like that. I was just trying to tackle him and make the play, because I didn't really know what was going on."
Burns again had to be helped off the field in the fourth quarter with another injury to the same ankle. He did not return.
"I understand everybody is out there competing," Reddick continued to harp on Jones. "I understand everybody wants to win. I don't think there is no room for that inside of the game. Everybody needs to be respectful, right? Nobody wants to see anybody get hurt.
"For no penalty, nothing to be thrown, it's egregious, I think it's unfair. I really do hope the league addresses it."