CINCINNATI – Bengals cornerback Adam Jones says Steelers receiver Antonio Brown was faking an injury and effectively accused the Steelers and the NFL of dishonestly in the league's concussion protocol.
Jones said Brown "winked at us" as he walked off the field after being hit by Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict.
Jones may have something there.
Although Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said Brown was concussed on Burfict's late hit, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported the next day that Brown is "fine and should be able to play against the Broncos" next weekend. The Steelers haven't confirmed that.
By his statement, Jones not only accused Brown and Tomlin of lying but challenged the integrity of the NFL's concussion program, which requires an independent doctor to verify and monitor a player's condition after a head injury.
"Antonio Brown was not hurt. I know he was faking it," Jones said on the "Dan Patrick Show" on Monday. "Go back and look at the play. If you go back and slow-motion the play, you tell me that Vontaze hit him in the head or did his shoulder pads barely touch him?"
LISTENto Jones' interview
Jones also told Patrick that Burfict wasn't trying to injure Brown.
"Didn't deserve to be flagged," Jones said. "He was full speed. You can see him easing up as the play is going on."
Burfict's 15-yard penalty and Jones' subsequent 15-yarder for unsportsmanlike conduct set up the Steelers' game-winning field goal.
Jones said the officials were wrong to flag him for trying to get at Steelers linebacker coach Joey Porter, who came out on the field in violation of NFL rules and taunted the Bengals. Porter could be fined by the league, according to media reports.
"They said I made contact with the ref," Jones said on Patrick's show. "I was pointing at Porter, saying, 'Why is he on the field?' I asked the head ref why he was on the field. He couldn't give me an answer. ... He (Porter) wasn't with the player who got hurt."
Jones also took exception to another Steelers assistant, Mike Munchak, who grabbed Bengals safety Reggie Nelson by the hair after Nelson ran onto the Steelers sideline trying to tackle running back Jordan Todman.
Nelson bumped into Munchak and the two appeared to push each other. Munchak got a 15-yard penalty. The NFL is also reviewing that incident for possible fines, according to ESPN.
"He (Munchak) should have been escorted to the locker room," Jones said. "Coaches are held to a higher standard than players, period, point-blank. If a player would have done that ... I'm quite sure he would have been kicked out the game."
Jones also said the head-to-head hit by Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier on Bengals running back Gio Bernard was "way worse" than Burfict's hit on Brown and questioned why Shazier didn't get flagged. But when Patrick asked if Jones thought the officials were favoring the Steelers, Jones said:
"I don't want to get into that. But I do think they let the game get out of control."