The New England Patriots’ loss to the Indianapolis Colts was a physical affair that even saw a pair of disqualifications. Patriots safety Kyle Dugger and Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. were sent packing after a scuffle in the third quarter.
If New England head coach Bill Belichick had his way, however, a third player would also have left the field in that situation: Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton.
“We’ve talked about those situations. We talk about them every year. We talk about them multiple times throughout the course of the year. When I see what happened, not sure how anybody will see it. It doesn’t really matter what I think anyways. We’ll go through it,” Belichick said. “Based on the rule, I don’t see why T.Y. Hilton wasn’t ejected. He pushed an official. That was pretty clear, but that wasn’t called at all. That’s a clear-cut ejection to me.”
The push in question was captured by the game broadcast:
For reference; here is what Belichick was talking about.pic.twitter.com/dYSKFfmylG— Ryan Spagnoli (@Ryan_Spags) December 20, 2021
Hilton was neither flagged nor penalized in any other form for shoving one of the officials. Dugger and Pittman Jr, meanwhile, were ejected for their shoving contest.
“Bottom line is both players got ejected. I would say I understand that. Whether I agree with that or not, that’s a whole other discussion,” Belichick said before going back to Hilton.
“I don’t understand why T.Y. Hilton wasn’t ejected for contacting an official. Intentionally or unintentionally, that has no bearing on the play. Those plays are reviewable and are reviewed, so I don’t understand that one. You’d have to talk to the officials about that. They were the ones that made the call.”
Hilton ended the game with a 19-yard reception that happened after Dugger and Pittman Jr. were tossed from the contest.
New England ended up losing 27-17 in a game that saw them get flagged eight times for a loss of 50 yards. For comparison, the Colts were penalized just twice for 13 yards.