JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Cincinnati Bengals receiver A.J. Green and Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey were ejected just before halftime of the Jags' 23-7 win on Sunday at EverBank Field for getting into a brawl.
Ramsey and Green had been trash-talking throughout the first half, and things came to a head after a running play with less than 30 seconds to play. Green put his left arm on Ramsey's right shoulder after the play, and Ramsey responded by shoving Green to the ground.
Green jumped back up, grabbed Ramsey around the neck and threw him to the ground. Green punched Ramsey multiple times while they were both on the ground as players from both teams rushed to break up the fight. Jaguars linebacker Myles Jack was the first to reach the players and tried to pull Green off Ramsey. Almost every player from both teams ended up on the field in a pushing and shoving match that lasted for several minutes as officials tried to get things under control.
Wide receivers coach James Urban came out to escort Green off the field and into the locker room. As the Bengals came off the field, they were still barking at the Jaguars' sideline as boos rained down.
According to multiple sources, Ramsey was then seen being restrained by Jaguars personnel and EverBank Stadium security. He was spotted heading toward the Bengals' locker room before he was restrained, and as the Bengals came in at halftime, he started screaming profanities once he spotted them. Ramsey was also heard yelling that he was going to go find Green once security let him go.
Ramsey did not go in the locker room and was told to return to the Jaguars' locker room and did, a source said.
Green is notoriously quiet and rarely shows emotion, making what happened on Sunday incredibly rare.
"I shouldn't have reacted that way. I apologize to my teammates, [Bengals owner Mike] Brown, and everybody, because that's not who I am. It just got the best of me today," Green said after the loss.
This is the second time that Ramsey, who did speak to reporters on Sunday, has been ejected for fighting in 24 career games. He was also ejected in last year's game against Oakland after he got into a post-play scuffle with Raiders receiver Johnny Holton.
Jaguars safety Barry Church defended his teammate for what he described to be "a coward move" by Green.
"He [Ramsey] was calm the whole time, I feel like. He didn't even swing on the guy. He snuck him to begin with, try to choke him out from behind. I mean, that's just a coward move. Hey, they both got ejected, we went out there and finished the fight and took the W home, so they lost on both ends," Church said.
Church added that he had "never seen a football fight like that."
"I think he's seven years, eight years [in the league], so for him to let somebody get under his skin like that, that's remarkable," Church said of Green. "And then for him to go to throwing [punches] like that, something had to be said. I don't know what happened, but that's remarkable for somebody to let them get under their skin like that."
Ramsey had covered Green exclusively throughout the first half and limited him to one catch for 6 yards. Green had 38 catches for 572 yards and four touchdowns coming into the weekend.
It was clear from the start that Ramsey and Green were getting annoyed with each other, as they were jawing back and forth during the entire first half. Referee Brad Allen said both players were "absolutely" warned prior to their altercation.
Allen said Ramsey was ejected for a flagrant personal foul, calling him as the "instigator" for the brawl. Green's ejection was for fighting.
Green added: "The ref came to me [on the] sideline and said next time he puts his hands to your face, we're going to call it. I let it slide, let it slide, a couple of plays. It's football. Things get a little rough up there, so I didn't mind that.
"But when you start trying to take cheap shots when I'm not looking and stuff like that, then that's when I've got to defend myself and I'm not going to back down from anybody. I have a son, and I'm not going to teach him to back down from anybody like that. It's a respect thing. I respect all my opponents -- but when it gets to a level, when I'm not looking and put myself in danger, I'm going to have to defend myself."