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  • A review of the game shows that Incognito and Ngakoue did not have many interactions until the fourth quarter, during which they had two hard collisions.
By Conor Orr
January 08, 2018

The NFL on Monday said it will investigate claims made by Jaguars DE Yannick Ngakoue that Bills guard Richie Incognito directed a racial slur or slurs at Ngakoue in Sunday’s 10–3 win over Buffalo.

Ngakoue tweeted after the game:

In the tweet, Ngakoue referenced Jonathan Martin, the former NFL player who accused Incognito and other Dolphins players of relentless bullying back in 2014. Following an investigation into that matter, the league determined that Incognito had “used a racist slur and made vulgar taunts.”

“I’ve been playing this game since I was a little kid,” Ngakoue said, via the Associated Press. “You hear all type of stuff. Stuff’s not going to bother you, but somebody says something about your ethnicity, that’s really kind of taking it a little too far. I’m all with trash talk. It’s part of the game, but you can’t say certain things.”

Incognito, then a guard for the Dolphins, was mentioned over 700 times in Ted Wells’s report into the Martin scandal, which produced text messages, voice mail transcripts and testimony alleging multiple uses of a racial slur directed at Martin by Incognito. He was suspended for the remainder of the 2013 season and did not play in ’14, before getting recruited by Rex Ryan to join the Bills in ’15. 

Bills left tackle Dion Dawkins, who is black and plays directly to Incognito’s left side, came to Incognito’s defense late Sunday night, also on Twitter.

Jaguars DE Calais Campbell initially said that no slurs were directed towards him, but changed his tune slightly.

The Bills did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Jacksonville Jaguars declined to comment on the alleged incident altogether.

A brief review of Sunday’s game showed that Ngakoue often lined up and rushed outside of Dawkins. Incognito missed about half of the first quarter with an injury but returned for Buffalo’s first offensive series in the second quarter.

While the pair did not appear to have a multitude of one-on-one interactions, at least captured by the broadcast cameras, they were tangled on a fourth-quarter play with about 5:56 remaining away from the ball. On that play, a Tyrod Taylor rollout, Ngakoue delivered a hard shoulder to Incognito, and Incognito grabbed Ngakoue and threw him off screen. With 1:47 to go in the fourth quarter, the pair collided again, with Incognito and Ngakoue locked in a pretty intense grapple. Incognito can be seen swatting at the defensive end after the ball was released.

The 34-year-old offensive lineman is due $6.32 million next season and is scheduled to hit free agency in 2019. After the Martin scandal, he said he attended therapy and had intense conversations with family and friends about his personality and approach. In a slew of post-Miami interviews, he described a newfound “zen.”

“The biggest thing for me to get over was, you were the problem,” he told The Colin Cowherd Show after he resurfaced in Buffalo. “Own it, learn from it, make yourself a better person and move on. And that first step of accepting it took months and months and months and months.”

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