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Report: Mac Jones Escapes Fine for Ankle Grab on Brian Burns

Patriots quarterback Mac Jones will not be fined for grabbing the ankle of Panthers defensive end Brian Burns on Sunday, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. The play could have been called for holding, but the league decided it did not warrant anything more.

During the first quarter of New England's eventual 24–6 win, Burns sacked and stripped Jones of the ball. While the play was still active, Jones can be seen grabbing Burns by the ankle while on the ground. 

The football was recovered by Panthers linebacker Frankie Luvu. After the game, Panthers outside linebacker Haason Reddick called out Jones for the play.

"I thought it was completely dirty," Reddick said. "Hopefully it's something the league addresses. I think it was surprising to not see that a penalty was called. It seems like they always protecting the offensive players. Where is the protection for the defensive players as well?"

Later in the week, Jones gave his explanation for the play—saying he thought Burns had recovered the ball. 

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"After I got hit pretty hard, I didn't really know exactly what was going on," Jones told WEEI's Merloni & Fauria radio show. "I thought he had the ball. It was my job to try and make the tackle. That was pretty much it. Obviously when you get up and see the ball, it’s actually down the field a little bit more.

"It was 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."

On Wednesday, Burns didn't seem to care for Jones's lack of remorse and offered encouragement for the players who will be after Jones in the weeks to come. 

"It would be nice to have an apology," Burns said. "But it's not going to happen. However the NFL handles it, it's on them. I would just like to play them again. I wish all my fellow D-end brothers happy hunting."

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