Mac Jones apparently has a new reputation among NFL defensive linemen.
The New England Patriots rookie quarterback drew the ire of Brian Burns last Sunday when he grabbed and appeared to twist the ankle of the Carolina Panthers defensive end after a fumble.
Jones claimed he thought Burns had the football and was just trying to make a tackle, while Burns (and several others) accused Jones of making a dirty play away from the ball with an intent to injure. (Burns injured his ankle on the play but later returned to the game.)
Cleveland Browns star defensive end Myles Garrett suggested he'll be on alert for similar shenanigans from Jones when his team faces the Patriots on Sunday.
"Of course, I watched it," Garrett told reporters Friday when asked about Jones' ankle grab, via Cleveland.com's Mary Kay Cabot. "I'll hold my comments on that one. Hopefully, it doesn’t happen to me. I don’t know. Is he going to turn into the ankle grabber? I don’t know. We will see.
"... Now, we’ve all seen it. Now I know to get my behind up and get out of the way."
Garrett's own reputation precedes him, of course: The two-time Pro Bowler was suspended a total of six games in 2019 for hitting Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph in the head with Rudolph's own helmet.
Burns also wished his fellow defensive ends "happy hunting" on Jones earlier this week, so if anyone should be on alert this Sunday, it's probably the rookie quarterback.
Even if both teams play between the whistles, Garrett will present a huge problem for New England: He leads the NFL with 12 sacks, is tied for the league lead with 36 QB pressures through nine games and is the current betting favorite to win Defensive Player of the Year.
And Garrett made no mistake he's coming for the rookie QB on Sunday.
"I want to get my hands on him and show him that things are different on this level," Garrett added. "I want to show him that it’s all fun and games, but these guys are real out here, especially in Cleveland."
If Garrett does take Jones down Sunday, let's hope both players keep it clean so that Jones' ankle-grabbing and any threat of "retribution" don't persist as storylines.