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Patriots head coach Bill Belichick defends Mac Jones after ‘dirty play’ accusations by the Panthers

Related: Panthers accuse Mac Jones of dirty play after their loss to the Patriots

NFL: New England Patriots at Carolina Panthers Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Following his team’s 24-6 loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday, Carolina Panthers linebacker Haason Reddick called out quarterback Mac Jones for an alleged dirty play that resulted in teammate Brian Burns hurting his ankle.

The play in question saw Burns strip-sack Jones in the late first quarter, with the Patriots’ QB grabbing onto Burns as he was attempting to reach the loose football. Jones grabbed the defender by the ankle to slow him down, with Burns getting injured while trying to escape Jones’ grasp. No flag was thrown by the officials.

Reddick, however, took exception to the play. Jones or the Patriots did not have a chance to share their point of view initially, but head coach Bill Belichick was asked his thoughts on the play on Monday morning.

Appearing on on WEEI’s The Greg Hill Show, Belichick defended his young quarterback. He did not give any particular insight into the play, though.

“I think he thought Burns had the ball,” Belichick said.

When asked whether he saw Jones twist Burns’ ankle, Belichick repeated his answer.

“I think he thought Burns had the ball.”

Regardless of Jones’ intentions, he was not penalized for grabbing Burns by the ankle. That said, the NFL could still fine him in the coming days if it deems the action worthy of one. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the league will review the play as part of its standard process. A fine is reportedly possible, but “nothing more than that.”

Following the play, Burns was evaluated on the sidelines. He did eventually return to the game but later left the contest again with an apparent foot injury suffered in the fourth quarter. At that point, the contest was already pretty much over: the Patriots had taken a 24-6 lead behind a dominant defensive performance and an offense led by Mac Jones that made enough plays to pull away.