Aaron Rodgers reacts to roughing the passer call on Chiefs’ Chris Jones
Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers plays quarterback, which means he is accustomed to being hit by defensive linemen.
But the reigning NFL MVP said the controversial roughing the passer call against Kansas City Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones in Monday’s game against the Las Vegas Raiders reminds him how tough a defender’s job has become.
“I don’t know what else Chris Jones can do on that play. And that would not be a call that I’d be begging to get,” Rodgers said during his weekly appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show” on Tuesday.
The questionable call happened during the second quarter as quarterback Derek Carr was leading the Raiders down the field to add to their lead when Jones got to him and appeared to wrestle the ball away with 1:07 remaining in the half. Upon further replay, Jones seemed to have secured the ball as both players went to the ground.
But referee Carl Cheffers flagged Jones for roughing the passer, which negated a potential drive-ending play and gave the Raiders a fresh set of downs. The call is in line with referees seemingly paying more close attention this season to defenders landing on top of quarterbacks with their body weight.
Jones did land on top of Carr, but he seemed to use his left arm in an attempt to keep some of his weight from fully landing on the quarterback.
“From the ref’s point of view, it probably looked like that initially, and when you look at the replay, it’s a whole different thing,” Jones said after the game.
The Chiefs went on to defeat the Raiders, 30-29. But the roughing the passer calls continue to be a polarizing topic across the league.
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Rodgers went on to give his thoughts about which type of hits on quarterbacks should be taken into account as it relates to roughing calls.
“The things I think are the most important are the shots to the head. That’s the most important thing. It’s the shots to the head and the unnecessary roughness ones where a guy doesn’t have to pick you up and throw you down or the two- or three-step shots,” Rodgers said.
Another controversial roughing call happened Sunday during the Atlanta Falcons-Tampa Bay Buccaneers game when Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett sacked Bucs quarterback Tom Brady.
Referee Jerome Boger later doubled down on his call.
“What I had was the defender grabbed the quarterback while he was still in the pocket and unnecessarily throwing him to the ground,” Boger told a pool reporter after the game. “That is what I was making my decision based upon.”
Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles referenced the recent hit against Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
“I saw that one being called. I saw it against Tua when he got hit, and in the London game this morning,” Bowles said. “I think they are starting to crack down on some of the things, slinging backs. I don’t know. Right now, the way they are calling [it], I think a lot of people would’ve gotten that call.”
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Tagovailoa came up stumbling after being hit in the first half of the Dolphins’ Week 3 game against the Buffalo Bills. He later returned in the second half and finished playing in the game. Four days later in Week 4, Tagovailoa was thrown to the ground during a Thursday night game against the Cincinnati Bengals and suffered head and neck injuries.
Tagovailoa did not play in the team’s Week 5 game against the New York Jets and has been ruled out of Sundays’ game against the Minnesota Vikings. He did return to practice in a limited capacity on Wednesday.
Prior to the start of the NFL’s games for Week 5, the league and the NFLPA implemented new concussion protocols.
According to a report from the Associated Press, the roughing the passer rule will be discussed during the NFL owners meeting next week.
Any potential changes would be handled by the league’s competition committee. The NFL does not expect to implement any roughing rules changes during the 2022 season.
Rodgers does not want the league to make roughing the passer calls reviewable.
“I don’t think it’s to go down the road of reviewing it. I think we might end up with the same spot as pass interference where there’s gray areas and then one call changes the trajectory of all other calls that fit under that standard,” Rodgers said.