Buffalo Bills left tackle Dion Dawkins blasted the New York Jets for having “very disrespectful players” after his involvement in a postgame altercation Sunday in the tunnel at Highmark Stadium.
Dawkins and New York defensive lineman Micheal Clemons got into a skirmish that carried over from some chippy fourth-quarter play during the Bills’ 32-6 rout of the Jets. No punches were thrown, but Dawkins took a poke at the Jets while addressing reporters.
“I’m a humble guy,” said Dawkins, a seven-year veteran. “I’m not a fan, man — I’m not a fan of the Jets. Very disrespectful players. It’s what it is, and when we can run and pass and beat a team like that, cool. Thumbs up.”
Dawkins did not elaborate on his comment that the Jets were disrespectful, saying only: “Ask them.”
Clemons did not address reporters after the game, while Jets teammate Sauce Gardner said he was attempting to break up the fight in the tunnel.
“A lot of emotions going into it,” Gardner said. “That’s it. A lot of emotions — frustrated. I have no issues with none of them. I was trying to resolve everything.”
Jets cornerback D.J. Reed told ESPN that he “didn’t see any punches thrown” and that the incident mostly involved players trying to break up Dawkins and Clemons before the situation escalated.
“I don’t even know what happened, but Clemons was real mad about something,” Reed told ESPN. “I’m sure that the player did something to him that provoked him.”
The Bills had the game well in hand in the fourth quarter when Dawkins continued blocking Clemons after the whistle before knocking him down and landing on him. A shoving match ensued, with Dawkins being flagged for unnecessary roughness.
Clemons responded by shoving Dawkins, who fell to the ground and rolled on his back as players from both teams started pushing each other. Dawkins eventually jumped back on his feet and waved to the crowd, which was enjoying Buffalo’s 29-6 lead over a struggling Jets team that benched quarterback Zach Wilson late in the third quarter.
“It’s probably anger,” Dawkins said, when asked about the Jets’ frustration. “A little bit of, a lotta bit of emotions. Like, there’s a lot of emotional guys over there, very emotional guys. Even their D-line coach — very emotional, unmanly. So, very emotional guy.”
Jets defensive line coach Aaron Whitecotton has been with the team since 2021 but also worked with the Bills from 2017 to 2019, including the last two as their assistant defensive line coach. Dawkins was drafted by Buffalo in 2017 and played for the Bills in each of Whitecotton’s three seasons with the team.
Dawkins declined to provide specifics on why the Jets bothered him during the game, saying it was a case of “guys just being guys.”
“Guys playing with a lot of emotion and a lot of physicality, but just a lot of B.S., man,” Dawkins said. “A lot of B.S. Like those guys, it’s what it is.”
The Bills improved to 6-5 with their much-needed victory over the Jets, who fell to 4-6.
ESPN’s Alaina Getzenberg, ESPN’s Rich Cimini and The Associated Press contributed to this report.