JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Bengals star A.J. Green, looking at a league fine and possibly a suspension, apologized to teammates and expressed regret for fighting with Jacksonville cornerback Jalen Ramsey on Sunday.
"As a player, as a man, and a father, that's a reflection of me," the Bengals receiver said after being ejected for the second half of a 23-7 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. "I should have walked off in that whole situation.
"I definitely learned from this experience. It's never going to happen again. I regret my actions. Whatever the punishment, I accept it. I put myself in that situation."
AJ Green and Jalen Ramsey ejected pic.twitter.com/jVPBNcSyhe
— Flying Pigskin (@flying_pigskin) November 5, 2017
With the Bengals trying to run out the clock late in the first half, Green ran his route and put his left arm around Ramsey as he jogged back toward the huddle. Ramsey, bona fide trash talker, knocked Green down and Green then uncharacteristically lost his cool.
Green jumped up and grabbed Ramsey in a chokehold from behind, then slammed him to the ground before punching away at Ramsey's helmet.
"That's not football," Green said of how Ramsey handled himself. "I'm not going to tolerate disrespect like that. I know we can't fight on the field. He got under my skin and I can't let that happen.
"I've been the ultimate pro this long and I can't let little things like that get to me. I shouldn't have reacted that way, and I apologized to my teammates. That's not who I am. It just got the best of me today."
Referee Brad Allen said officials warned Green and Ramsey earlier in the game. Allen said Ramsey was ejected for instigating the fight, and Green was tossed for throwing punches.
Ramsey was not in the locker room after the game, but his teammates blamed Green.
Jaguars safety Barry Church called it a "coward move."
"I just think Jalen got in A.J.'s head. Jalen put that dog on him, and he didn't know how to respond to it," cornerback Aaron Colvin said.
"Unprofessional. (Green) has to be better," added defensive tackle Malik Jackson. " I just watched it on my phone. Jalen didn't do anything wrong, in my opinion. He's out there being a football player, locking people down. Hopefully the Bengals get it together and don't let that keep happening."
Bengals coach Marvin Lewis declined to provide much insight into what transpired, saying "Well, he was set off by something and we'll keep that at what it was. ... Something was, you know, was wrong."
The Bengals said it was the first time Green had been ejected from a game in his seven seasons.
Ramsey was ejected last year for fighting with Oakland Raiders receiver Johnny Holton. He also drew the ire of former Carolina and Baltimore receiver Steve Smith last season for talking smack during a game.
"Jalen must be saying some stuff that nobody else is saying out here," Jaguars linebacker Myles Jack said. "I might need to take a page or two from his book."
While Green and Ramsey wrestled on the ground, several Jaguars jumped into the fray before referees and teammates broke it up. They could face fines, too.
Ramsey's ejection prompted loud objections from Jacksonville’s coaching booth next to the press box. Jaguars executive Tom Coughlin and general manager Dave Caldwell were in the box.
Players jawed even as they left the field for halftime, and there was plenty of chippy play in the second half.
Green told ESPNearlier in the season that his focus is on the game, not fighting.
"That's who I am," Green said. "I am here to play football. I am not here to get in an arguing match and fight on the field. No need. I need all the energy I can to go out and make plays."