Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones’ 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in their Week 3 game against the Indianapolis Colts cost them dearly in Sunday afternoon’s stunning 20-17 loss.
The penalty was as untimely as it can possibly get, considering that it came after linebacker Nick Bolton’s third-down 8-yard sack of Colts quarterback Matt Ryan. With the Chiefs leading 17-14, the sack would likely have sealed the game. Jones appeared to say something to Ryan facemask-to-facemask after the play.
Reporters surrounded Jones’ locker after the game, with video courtesy of friend-of-the-site, FOX4’s Harold Kuntz.
Part of Chris Jones in Locker Room says he doesn’t think he said anything “vulgar or disrespectful” pic.twitter.com/NHrLlaVjSY— Harold R. Kuntz (@HaroldRKuntz3) September 25, 2022
“I got to do a better job of not talking to opposing teams, right?” said Jones. “Honestly, I don’t even remember [what I said]. I didn’t think I said anything vulgar or disrespectful, but I just can’t say anything within the heat of the moment. The game is changing, so I got to evolve to the game.
“I was frustrated that I got called. I don’t think I said anything horrendous, but the official called it, and I can’t take it back. So I got to do a better job of playing the game and not saying anything.”
The penalty led to the Colts resuming their 16-play game-winning drive. Jones continued.
“It sucks, man,” he added. “I blame myself for that. It was third down, we got off the field, the defense fought hard, and I kind of put us in a situation to get back on the field — and then we got scored on and that sums up the game. I take that one. It was my fault. It was definitely my fault. As a veteran player on this team, I got to be better with those type of things, especially those situations. But it won’t happen again for me. I take full blame, apologize to my team for putting us in that type of situation. It was third down, we were off the field, would have gave our offense the ball back.”
It sounded as though Ryan — while speaking to reporters in Indianapolis — stayed true to the game’s unwritten rules by not detailing what exactly was said.
Matt Ryan on the Chris Jones penalty late: Essentially says he knows what Jones said, but he isn’t telling us.— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) September 25, 2022
“Sometimes you gotta keep your cool.”
It also sounds as though Chiefs head coach Andy Reid did not believe unsportsmanlike conduct should have been called.
“I didn’t say or pushing or shoving,” said Reid. “I’m not really sure. They were two guys talking to each other. We know that. It seemed like Chris got called on that, so I guess the best advice would be, ‘Don’t talk.’”