UPDATE (9/14/2015, 11:30 a.m.): An NFL spokesman said Monday morning that the league is reviewing an incident where Bengals cornerback Adam Jones ripped off Raiders receiver Amari Cooper's helmet and shoved his exposed head onto the equipment. The act occurred in the first half of Sunday's game at O.co Coliseum. Jones will not be suspended for his actions, but a fine is expected later this week.
ALAMEDA – The Bengals tried to knock Raiders receiver Amari Cooper off his game with physicality. The rookie first-round pick got hit hard and often, absorbing significant blows when passes came his way.
It was an intimidation strategy, one that Cooper says didn’t work.
Bengals defensive backs were called for taunting after a big hit in the first quarter, but cornerback Adam Jones got carried away when he and Cooper got tangled up on a long Jamize Olawale run called back by holding.
Jones ended up ripping Cooper’s helmet off. Once the Alabama product was on the ground, Jones lifted Cooper up and slammed his uncovered head down on his helmet. It was a scary moment that will certainly draw a fine. Jones was penalized, but he was not ejected by game officials.
“Football is a physical game,” Cooper said after Sunday’s 33-13 loss at O.co Coliseum. “Things like that happen. …I feel like the refs didn’t see it well. If they did, they probably would’ve given a harsher penalty.”
Cooper doesn’t believe Jones should miss time for the egregious act.
"I don’t think he should be suspended,” Cooper said. “We were just playing physical. I should’ve been playing physical. Honestly, I didn’t even know I hit my head on the helmet.”
Cooper said he was not evaluated for a concussion.
For his part, Jones said he got caught up in the moment when the incident occurred.
"Whatever you saw happen, that’s what happened,” Jones said. “I’m here to play football. I don’t back down from anybody and I’m not out here trying to start anything. I’m just out here playing football.
“I was in the moment on that play. Like I said, I’m just out playing football. I’m not out to do that. I don’t want to hurt my team in any form or fashion, but I have to make sure I protect myself, too.”