ORCHARD PARK — When Jonathan Jones knocked Josh Allen out of Sunday's game between the Patriots and Bills, the majority of the attendees at New Era Field wanted Jones ejected. Earlier in the day, Raiders linebacker Vontez Burfect was tossed for a particularly egregious lowering-the-helmet penalty.
The officials on the field in Buffalo deemed Jones' hit wasn't worthy of an ejection, however.
“Well, we looked at it and in this situation, we didn’t feel that that contact rose to the level of an ejection," NFL senior vice president of officiating Al Riveron said.
"The player actually turns. Obviously, there is helmet contact, but we have standards for an ejection, and this did not rise to that standard; therefore, we did not eject him. There was a foul called and obviously the penalty stood, but we did not feel this contact rose to that level."
The Bills were flagged for a holding penalty on the play, which negated Jones' penalty and forced the third-down snap to be replayed. But that had nothing to do with whether or not Jones's hit was worthy of ejection.
"One thing has nothing to do with the other," Riveron explained. "This contact, whether another team got penalized or not, has no bearing on how we look at the level of the foul when we get to disqualification.
There's an argument to be made that Jones' penalty should not have been a penalty at all — never mind ejection-worthy. As our Tom E. Curran points out in his Takeaways from the game, lowering your helmet to initiate contact is illegal. But Jones, who at 5-foot-9 is eight inches shorter than Allen, didn't appear to lower his helmet while making helmet-to-helmet contact with the Bills quarterback who was starting to go down as he was being wrapped up by Duron Harmon.
Though Allen was having a horrid day — he'd thrown three interceptions before leaving — that he left the game to be taken over by Matt Barkley may have erased any chances the Bills had of coming back from the one-score deficit they faced when Allen was injured. It was, in our estimation, the game's Turning Point.
Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.