NFL provides ‘disturbing’ update on words exchanged with Colts’ Matt Ryan

Matt Ryan


Indianapolis Colts quarterback Matt Ryan received “disturbing” on-field comments from Chiefs Pro Bowlers in a Sept. 27 report from the NFL.

The public still doesn’t know what Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones said to Indianapolis Colts quarterback Matt Ryan about drawing an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty near the end of the week three matchup. But new details have emerged confirming what Jones mumbled wouldn’t exactly belong on a Christmas card.

Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio reported On Sept. 27, a league source shared with him a post-game report from umpire Shawn Smith, who officiated the matchup Colts chiefs, saying the defensive tackle used “disturbing language.” That report also said that there is “no place” in professional football for what Jones said to Ryan.

In Week 3, Jones and Ryan appeared to facemask each other after the Chiefs made a third-down stop with less than 5 minutes remaining in regulation. The Colts should punt 4 down.

But officials flagged Jones for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that earned Indianapolis 15 yards and an automatic first down.

Jones punishment should have included mockery?

Jones was faced with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, but the NFL source said Florio that Smith should have included a reference to taunting in the penalty call.

A taunting foul is a type of punishment for unsportsmanlike conduct. The inclusion of the reference to taunting wouldn’t have changed the yardage of the foul or ejected Jones — because it was his first taunting offense of the game — but it might have sparked less controversy at the time the penalty was awarded.

Florence reported that the NFL Rulebook, Rule 12, Section 3, Article 1(C) states that the use of “decoy or taunting acts or words that may cause malice between teams” is an example of an unsportsmanlike conduct foul.

Taunted or not, the end result was the same — 15 yards and a first down for the Colts. Indianapolis continued their possession late in the fourth quarter, driving into the red zone where Ryan met rookie tight end Jelani Woods in the end zone for a second time.

Strongly supported by the Jones penalty that Colts beat Chiefs, 20-17.

What Jones said to Matt Ryan remains a mystery

While Florio’s update lends credibility to the fact that Jones did in fact commit an unsportsmanlike conduct foul, the cloud of controversy surrounding the penalty will not be fully cleared unless the league reveals exactly what Jones said (or what Smith believed that he said).

Florio made this argument himself:

“Even so, without knowing what Jones said, it’s hard to understand how it behaved in a taunting and/or unsportsmanlike manner.” Flori wrote. “Jones won’t reveal what he said; but why should he be the one to do it?

“If he’s being punished not for actions that every viewer of the game could see, but for words that only Smith and maybe a few others could hear, it should be up to the entity that threw the flag, what was said with a little more detail to disclose when it was ‘worrying’.”

Florence also argued that the NFL could at least reveal what Jones said to help determine “where the line is” to help other players not cross it and commit a mock penalty in the future.

Like Jones, Ryan declined to reveal what Jones had said to him at his post-game meeting with the media. It seems what prompted Jones to pull the crucial penalty in Week 3 will remain a mystery for the foreseeable future. NFL provides ‘disturbing’ update on words exchanged with Colts’ Matt Ryan

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