Houston Texans punter Donnie Jones has been battling a sore leg since his team’s loss to the New England Patriots on Monday night. Wes Welker ripped off a 31-yard return on Jones’ first punt of the game, and Jones became the last line of defense. He ended up having to make the tackle and hurt his leg in the process. On Wednesday, Jones said he has a very straightforward explanation for his teammates, who have been razzing him.
“I told those guys, I said, ‘Look, you guys are NFL football players, I’m not,’” Jones said according to CSNHouston.com. “So when I get a little bruise or something, it is what it is. I know my role. But it’s all in good fun.
“I mean I’m not an actual NFL ‘football’ player. I mean, come on. We know our roles. I had the same type thing in 2008. I had to push DeSean Jackson out of bounds. Somehow I chased him down, don’t know how I did it, and I fell and my knee blew up. Every now and then you get one. We’re punters and kickers. We’re a different breed.”
As Pro Football Talk mentioned, some punters and kickers work incredibly hard to get people to acknowledge that they are “real” football players like their teammates and are just as important as the next guy in the locker room. Comments like the ones Jones made perpetuate the stereotype rather than helping to eliminate it.
Based on former Oakland Raiders punter Ray Guy’s recent outburst and the patch Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe wore on his jersey last weekend, I think it’s safe to say Jones should walk the other way if he ever sees either of those two in a dark alley.