Mac Jones has found himself involved in a controversial play with an opposing defender for a second time in two seasons.
The Patriots second-year quarterback was accused by Bengals cornerback Eli Apple for making a "dirty play" during New England's 22-18 loss to Cincinnati on Saturday.
The Bengals were on the verge of a decisive fumble-return TD from linebacker Germaine Pratt in the fourth quarter when Jones appeared to dive at the legs of a sprinting Apple, who was about five yards behind Pratt.
The touchdown was for naught as officials ruled Jones' pass an incompletion instead of a fumble, but the play stuck in Apple's mind after the game.
"Of course I did (notice it). He tripped me," Apple told NESN.com on Saturday. "I thought it was a dirty play. He's done that before, I've seen it."
Panthers star pass rusher Brian Burns accused Jones of questionable on-field behavior during the 2021 season after Jones grabbed Burns' leg following a strip sack -- a move that aggravated an ankle injury.
The Patriots, who currently trail the Dolphins for the final wild-card spot in the AFC, host Miami on Jan. 1.