Speaking to reporters after New York’s loss, Gardner claimed that Jones hit him in the “private parts” after tempers flared during the second half.
The star cornerback said that Jones told him “good play” before hitting him below the waist, also telling reporters that he’d never experienced something like that before, via Andy Vasquez of NJ.com.
On the play in question, Jones rushed the ball up the middle but was met by the pile of bodies in the trenches and failed to get through. After officials whistled the play dead, Jones continued to fight for extra yardage, forcing his way through defenders until C.J. Mosley stopped him and threw him to the ground.
This video surfaced earlier of Sauce Gardner shoving #Patriots QB Mac Jones after the play…— JPAFootball (@jasrifootball) September 24, 2023
If Mac Jones did indeed hit Sauce Gardner in his “private parts” then this reaction makes sense.pic.twitter.com/zY5kD1FJDO
As a result, players from both sides got in each other’s faces, and after Jones got back to his feet, Gardner could be seen shoving him back to the floor. Now, the 23-year-old claims a dirty hit was the cause of his retaliatory shove.
The incident was brought up to Jones after the game. When reporters asked him about the play, New England’s quarterback called it “just football” and said “it’s a physical game.” He then said he didn’t think he hit Gardner with a low blow.
A "low blow?"— NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSBoston) September 24, 2023
Mac responds to Sauce Gardner's comments regarding a physical play between the two of them late in the game 🗣️ pic.twitter.com/gLs7wJhcli
While the two players have differing recounts of the incident, it’s worth noting that no one was flagged on the play, despite the plethora of antics from both teams after the whistle.