DAVIE, Fla. — Miami Dolphins Pro Bowl safety Reshad Jones is adamant that he has no regrets from Sunday when he decided against returning to his team’s 13-6 win over the New York Jets despite playing just 10 first-quarter snaps.
“I’ve never been a quitter,” Jones said. “I’ve been here nine years, playing my ass off for this team, never been a quitter, never will.”
The issue came after Jones was taken out by defensive coordinator Matt Burke before the Dolphins’ fourth defensive series. Burke was rotating starting defensive backs out of the game to make rookie Minkah Fitzpatrick a full-time player.
Burke put cornerback Bobby McCain on the bench for the first two drives, T.J. McDonald on the bench in the third drive and Jones on the bench in the fourth drive. Jones was the only one who didn’t return after being taken out.
Miami head coach Adam Gase said he’s not planning to suspend Jones and that Jones will play Sunday at the Green Bay Packers. Gase also said any discipline will be kept internal and warned outsiders not to rush to judgment on Jones because they don’t know all the facts.
“All of that stuff, that’s between all of those guys, and they’re going to keep that in house,” Gase said. “I don’t think you’re going to get anybody talking about that. We handled what we needed to handle, and we’re moving on.”
Jones, who came to Gase’s office Sunday after the game to explain himself, said he talked with teammates and coaches this week and that they’re all “on the same page.” He said that includes Burke, who has been referenced to by Gase as one of the factors of why Jones took himself out of the game.
One Dolphins player told ESPN on Sunday that those rotations were known during the week but that they weren’t universally accepted. But this player also said, “Like it or not, you’ve got to do what the coaches ask.”
But Jones, when asked if he had any regrets, said, “No, not at all.”
Jones, 30, did say his partially torn right labrum had no impact in taking himself out of the game and that he would be willing to rotate in and out on defense if needed going forward.
“Whatever the coaching staff says we have to do, that’s what we’re willing to do,” Jones said. “I’ve been one of the best safeties in the league for a long time, and I’ll continue to fight and play my ass off for this team.”