Tom Coughlin defends Jalen Ramsey after A.J. Green fight: He played within rules
Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey didn’t throw any punches at Bengals receiver A.J. Green on Sunday. He was, however, on the receiving end of a body slam and a couple of punches after he pushed Green. Still, Ramsey got ejected from the game (as was Green) for his role in the altercation, which referee Brad Allen described as the “instigator.”
Two days later, Ramsey’s boss — Jaguars executive vice president of football operations, Tom Coughlin — defended Ramsey, saying he played football “within the rules.”
“I want to voice my support for Jalen Ramsey following the incident in our game on Sunday,” Coughlin said in a statement. “Our players are instructed to not retaliate or get involved or do anything that would result in eviction because that would hurt the team. Team comes first, and Jalen was trying not to hurt his team. While he did push his opponent — something that happened with other players during the game — he did not retaliate, he threw no punches, and he did not fight back. Jalen was doing what Coach Marrone has instructed him to do — which is to play tough, be physical and to make every play difficult for his opponent. There was banter going back and forth during the game, but Jalen was playing football within the rules.”
First of all, Coughlin defending his player shouldn’t come as a surprise. But that doesn’t make him right. From what we know with 100 percent certainty, Ramsey didn’t do that much wrong on the field, you know besides push Green — yes, something that happens across the league every Sunday — and engaging in some back and forth “banter,” as Coughlin said.
But the thing is, if a referee decided to eject the player who got punched and body slammed because he instigated the fight, and if the player who did the punching and body slamming was the normally mild-mannered A.J. Green, I really want to know: what in the heck did Ramsey do to Green that set him off?
Second of all, isn’t it kinda weird that the Jaguars made rookie running back Leonard Fournette inactive for Sunday’s game in part because he reportedly missed a team photo, but are now defending their player who instigated one of the uglier fights you’ll see in the NFL? That’s one weird disciplinary system.
According to multiple sources, Ramsey was then seen being restrained by Jaguars personnel and EverBank Stadium security. He was spotted heading toward the Bengals’ locker room before he was restrained, and as the Bengals came in at halftime, he started screaming profanities once he spotted them. Ramsey was also heard yelling that he was going to go find Green once security let him go.
Ramsey did not go in the locker room and was told to return to the Jaguars’ locker room and did, a source said.
The point being, Ramsey isn’t exactly innocent in all of this. Neither is Green, who apologized after the game.
Somehow, they both avoided a suspension from the league, though they could be fined later this week. And based on Coughlin’s statement, nobody should expect the Jaguars to discipline Ramsey for his actions.
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