Thirty years to the day after the Patriots Squished the Fish in the AFC Championship game in Miami featuring a team peppered with drug abusers, another drug scandal could be facing the team as they prepare to take on the Chiefs in Saturday’s divisional playoff.
As the Boston Herald first reported, Patriots defensive lineman Chandler Jones was rushed to Norwood Hospital Sunday morning after arriving at the Foxboro police department with a medical emergency.
“Dispatch records show Jones arrived at the police station at 7:42 a.m. with a medical emergency and was evaluated by fire and EMS officials before being transported to Norwood Hospital just after 8 a.m.”
Foxboro police Chief Edward T. O’Leary — who is also head of security for Gillette Stadium events — denied his department and officers had any dealing with Jones over the weekend when originally pressed on the matter by the Herald even though five Foxboro police officers assisted Jones in the Foxboro police parking lot. O’Leary — who is expected to retire in September — also told the Herald the only time he’d ever seen Jones was being interviewed on television.
While the details of the emergency were deleted from dispatch records, WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan show producer Chris Curtis tweeted that Jones overdosed on pills on Saturday night, claiming that the overdose took place at Rob Gronkowski’s house. That tweet was deleted and replaced by the following tweet that eliminated mention of Gronkowski’s house:
According to multiple police sources Chandler Jones “OD’d on pills” Saturday night and was taken in an ambulance to Norwood Hospital.
— Dennis and Callahan (@DandCShow) January 13, 2016
WEEI’s Lou Merloni followed up with a tweet on Jones’s condition when he arrived at the police station:
According to my source, Chandler walked into police station parking lot all jammed up shirtless and shoeless asking for help from police
— Lou Merloni (@LouMerloni) January 13, 2016
“It was a big combination of things [in Jones’s system],” Merloni said on WEEI Wednesday. “He was concerned and he was all jammed up… think about what ‘all jammed up’ is? All jammed up, on weed and other stuff, didn’t know where he was — dazed — didn’t know anything.”
Merloni also tweeted that Jones was believed to be at Rob Gronkowski’s house before showing up at the police station. Gronkowski was not in Foxboro over the weekend. The Patriots tight end was in Southwest Florida visiting his mother.
Heavy.com has the police and fire dispatch audio along with the audio from the dispatcher asked to send the rescue to the parking lot to evaluate a “confused” Jones.
In the audio, a police officer can be heard telling a dispatcher, “I got his keys off the kitchen table, I was able to lock the front door. If you want to just pass along to the fire, he was definitely involved with class D delta before this happened, just so they know.”
In Massachusetts, a Class D substance includes marijuana, hashish, and other substances with THC and marijuana derivatives or concentrates.
The Patriots told the Herald in a statement: “Chandler Jones was admitted to the hospital on Sunday and released that day. He reported to work on time Monday morning and has participated in all meetings and practices since then.”
On Wednesday, the Boston Globe’s Chris Gasper wrote that Jones “had a bad reaction to a substance he put into his body on Sunday, a source familiar with the situation told the Globe. The source was adamant that Jones did not overdose on a drug such as cocaine or heroin.” Gasper later updated his story to report that Jones had a bad reaction from synthetic marijuana and that the NFL was looking into the situation.
Source with knowledge of the situation confirms it was synthetic marijuana that caused Chandler Jones’ bad reaction and hospitalization.
— Christopher Gasper (@cgasper) January 13, 2016
In another odd twist, Gronkowski was not the full-padded practice Tuesday and was not spotted in the locker room, but it appears his absence was not related to the Jones situation.
Rob Gronkowski was not involved in the Jones’ situation in any way. Gronk missed practice Mon. as a precaution due to a very minor ailment.
— Christopher Gasper (@cgasper) January 13, 2016
“I’m not going to speak about that though,” Patriots offensive lineman Josh Kline said in the Patriots locker room Wednesday. “I’m not even going to touch it… I support [Jones] 100 percent. He’s our teammate, we love the guy. That’s all I’m going to say about that.”
Sebastian Vollmer also played it the Patriots Way when asked about the Jones situation. “[Jones’s] locker is right over there, so you’re probably need to ask him about that.”
In January, Chandler’s brother Jon “Bones” Jones — one of UFC’s biggest stars — entered a drug rehabilitation center after testing positive for cocaine in a test administered by the Nevada Athletic Commission. In April, Jones was stripped of his light heavyweight championship for his involvement in a hit-and-run where marijuana was found in his vehicle.
On Chandler Jones’ situation: 1) no arrest; 2) no known failed drug test; 3) HIPAA protects record & 4) he’s now ok. https://t.co/WmWmGaXNBV
— Michael McCann (@McCannSportsLaw) January 13, 2016
The Chandler Jones story isn’t going away anytime soon. How it affects the Patriots on Saturday, we’ll find out soon enough.