One of the most sure-handed Patriots was flagged for a questionable penalty Sunday night, and it didn’t sit right with Julian Edelman.
Matthew Slater appeared to make a game-changing play for New England as it held a one-point lead over Tampa Bay in the third quarter. Slater punched the football away from Buccaneers return man Jaydon Mickens and the Patriots recovered, but the turnover was nullified after the special teams ace was issued an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for running out of bounds and returning to the playing field.
Patriots fans in attendance at Gillette Stadium and those on social media were perturbed by the call, as was Edelman.
“That is a professional — you cannot call that on Matthew Slater,” Edelman said on his Instagram story. “This guy’s is a Hall of Fame special teamer. What is illegal?”
To make matters worse for Slater and Co., the Bucs proceeded to put together an eight-play drive that concluded with a go-ahead touchdown. Tampa Bay eventually held off New England in the fourth quarter to give Tom Brady a win in his return to Foxboro.
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