JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green and Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey were both ejected for fighting during the Jaguars' 23-7 win on Sunday at EverBank Field.
The incident occurred late in the second quarter.
The two could clearly be seen talking to each other throughout the game. The first visible sign was after Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton missed Green deep downfield after he beat Ramsey.
Dalton threw the ball wide and out of bounds. Ramsey talked to Green and to Cincinnati's bench after the play.
Eventually, tensions hit a boiling point.
Ramsey shoved Green to the ground after the whistle blew on a 1-yard run by Cincinnati running back Joe Mixon.
Green erupted. He grabbed Ramsey by the neck from behind and slammed him to the ground. Green then delivered several punches to Ramsey until a group of players jumped into the fray.
Both benches cleared, and it took several minutes before order was restored.
The Bengals, trailing 13-7, took a knee to end the first half.
Referee Brad Allen told the pool reporter after the game that both teams had been warned before the brawl. He also noted that even though Ramsey didn't appear to throw a punch, he was ejected for starting it.
"No. 20 of Jacksonville (Ramsey) was ejected for a flagrant personal foul, which started the altercation which resulted in a punch from No. 18 of Cincinnati (Green)," Allen said. "They were both disqualified."
Allen was asked if Ramsey's shove was an automatic ejection.
"I don't want to use the term 'automatic' because it would have been a (penalty) on its own, but we also had a fight," Allen said. "We ended up with a fight by Cincinnati, but we had the instigator in Jacksonville. Therefore, they were both disqualified."
The ejection was the first for Green, now in his seventh season.
"As a player, as a man, and a father, that's a reflection of me," Green said. "I should have walked off in that whole situation. I definitely learned from this experience. It's never going to happen again. I regret my actions.
"Whatever the punishment, I accept it. I put myself in that situation."
Green finished with one catch for 6 yards on two targets.
"We were just running the clock out and I turned my back and he shoved me," Green said. "That's not football. I'm not going to tolerate disrespect like that. I know we can't fight on the field. He got under my skin and I can't let that happen."
Ramsey has been ejected twice already in his 23-game career. He had left the locker room by the time reporters were let in after the game.
"I have never seen A.J. like that," Jaguars defensive tackle Abry Jones said. "I don't know what was said or what happened. I know him and Jalen are really good competitors. Jalen got the better of him mentally and he just snapped."
Ramsey was credited with one tackle.
Cincinnati head coach Marvin Lewis tried to stay away from commenting.
"He was set off by something, and we'll keep that at what it was," Lewis said. "Something was, you know, was wrong. ... Obviously, it changes your plan, and that's big. We lose one of our best players."
Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone said he didn't get a good look at how it started.
"Those things unfortunately occur," Marrone said. "It's not something that we like to do or be a part of or want to be a part of, but obviously it happened.
"I didn't see much because I was on the opposite sideline. They said there was a punch thrown and both players were ejected. That's what I was told by the officials."