Two second-half exchanges Monday left the Dolphins steamed at the Patriots.
The first: New England center David Andrews seemed to take an unnecessary and borderline cheap shot at Jordan Phillips’ ankles, briefly knocking Miami’s emerging defensive tackle from the game.
A day later, Phillips posted a video of the play on Instagram with an angry caption that tagged Andrews.
Phillips was ultimately OK, and was healthy enough to practice Thursday. And his post got the desired reaction: it made headlines both locally and in Boston.
But another moment late in the game went largely unnoticed — except by the Dolphins’ offensive linemen.
The game was decided and the Dolphins were kneeling out the final seconds, but Patriots defensive linemen were not ready to concede.
They twice crashed into the Dolphins front in an attempt to force a turnover, an act that while technically legal, is not exactly neighborly.
Mike Pouncey and Ted Larsen, the Dolphins’ center and left guard, were particularly irked, and got into a shoving match with their opponents after two kneel-downs were chippier than they would have preferred.
“If you want to call it classless, you can do that,” Larsen said. “But I mean, until the game’s 0-0, you have to be ready for that. You’ve got to get the snap and protect Pounce. I kind of thought that had gone away.”
When asked if he was surprised by the Patriots’ behavior, Phillips responded: “I’m not surprised on anything that they do.”
Coach Adam Gase, like Larsen, pointed out that the game was still undecided at the time, and that the Patriots had lined up as if they were going to crash the line.
Still, if there’s not an unwritten rule about this kind of behavior, which offensive linemen would see as needlessly putting them at risk, there’s at least a general code among athletes not to hurt each other.
And as we have seen in just the last few days, it can escalate quickly.
The Jaguars and Seahawks brawled in the final seconds of Sunday’s Jacksonville win because Seattle defensive players were bringing the heat as the Jags tried to kneel out a two-point victory.
Seahawks players Sheldon Richardson and Quinton Jefferson were kicked out of the game, and Jefferson later tried to go into the stands to fight Jaguars fans who threw trash at him on his way to the locker room.
“If you play Seattle and it’s a two-point game, [Seahawks defensive end] Michael Bennett is going to try to find a way to get a turnover,” Gase said. “We [the Broncos] saw, I think in 2012 when we played Tampa, we talked about it. We had a specific way we were going to go about handling it. If the game is going on, you’ve got to be ready to play.”
▪ Guard Jermon Bushrod (foot), quarterback Matt Moore (foot), cornerback Cordrea Tankersley (ankle/shoulder) and running back Damien Williams (shoulder) all practiced on a limited basis Thursday after missing the Patriots game because of injury.
▪ Pouncey (hip), defensive end Andre Branch (knee), and safety Michael Thomas (knee) all sat out Thursday’s session. Thomas is playing through an injured PCL, but said he does not need surgery.