How JuJu Smith-Schuster’s hard hit caused Patriots-Dolphins scuffle

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Patriots wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster didn’t play for most of Sunday’s loss to the Dolphins, but he made his presence felt when he broke up what would have been an interception from quarterback Mac Jones late in the game.

Dolphins safety Brandon Jones was coming down with the ball when Smith-Schuster laid him out. The wideout was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct on the play.

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“I just saw the defensive player go for an interception,” Smith-Schuster said. “Just trying to make a play. He was coming down with the ball, just hit him in the chest to try to get the ball out.”

Smith-Schuster believed it was a clean hit but understood why Dolphins players came after him following the play.

“Of course they got upset,” he said. “I can see why. But it was a clean hit.”

Smith-Schuster was asked if he got clarity on whether it was the hit or something that transpired after the play that caused the penalty.

“I hit him and walked to the sideline,” Smith-Schuster said.

Dolphins players followed him to the sideline, which is when Patriots players got involved.

Defensive tackle Christian Barmore took exception with the way Dolphins players went after Smith-Schuster, and a long scrum between the two teams ensued.

“My guys came to protect our teammate all the time, doesn’t matter,” Barmore said. “Them guys came after my teammate crazy. They came to our sideline.”

“My guy going off the field, (a Dolphins player) came over to my sideline,” he continued. “That’s disrespectful, you know? Came to defend my teammate.”

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