Monday, October 3, 2022

NFL makes final decision on crushing hit that injured Mac Jones

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The NFL issued some fines for bone-crushing hits from Week 1. However, Miami Dolphins safety Jevon Holland escaped a penalty or fine for the hit against New England Patriots QB Mac Jones that left the signal caller with back spasms as a sophomore.

After reviewing plays reported for unnecessary rudeness and roughing up the passer, the NFL decided to fine Brian Burns of the Carolina Panthers for his hit on the Cleveland Browns’ Jacoby Brissett, but not Holland for it his tag team finishing maneuver with Fins safety Brandon Jones on Jones.

NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero shared the information.

Holland and Jones’ high-low hit resulted in a back injury for the Patriots QB. Here’s a look at the hit.

Jones tested negative and will play the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. However, this was close. Going forward, the Patriots’ offensive line needs to make sure it doesn’t expose Jones to the carnage — especially ahead of a matchup with a notoriously good pass-rushing team like the Steelers waiting in the wings.

Even with TJ Watt out, the Steelers still have Alex Highsmith and Cameron Heyward in the lineup and are poised to present a tough challenge on the Patriots’ offensive line.

The last time New England fans saw their starting quarterback take a hard blow below the knee, it was Tom Brady, who took the punch from Bernard Pollard in Week 1 of the 2008 NFL season.

The hit resulted in a cruciate ligament rupture for Brady. He would miss the rest of the season, but the Patriots still finished 11-5, narrowly missing the postseason.

Fortunately, Jones didn’t suffer a similar fate, although the hit initially looked more devastating than the one Brady Pollard took.

The Patriots’ inconsistent offensive line play was definitely a major storyline from the Week 1 loss to the Dolphins. An even bigger one, however, may have been the Patriots’ lack of impressive weaponry in the passing game.

New England traded for DeVante Parker during the offseason in hopes of finding an answer to that problem. It’s early days, but Parker only had one reception in the loss to his old team, and that’s well below the level of production the Patriots were hoping for from him.

Jakobi Meyers again led the Patriots with 4 catches for 55 yards. With all due respect to Meyers, both numbers are a bit modest for an NFL team in 2022. The Patriots haven’t made a big trade or signed Odell Beckham Jr., but Jones may still have his best weapon back on the field as a regular with the Steelers.

After being limited to just two snaps in the Week 1 loss, Kendrick Bourne is expected to play more in Week 2. When Bourne was on the field, he made an impression. In one of Bourne’s snaps, he made a 41-yard reception on the sideline.

Jones missed Bourne’s presence on the field — and perhaps his energy. In 2021, Bourne had a career season with 55 receptions for 800 yards and 5 TDs. Jones would love to see him get even more involved for the rest of the season.



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