Penalty negates Pacman’s punt-return TD for newborn son

CINCINNATI, OH - NOVEMBER 26: Adam Jones #24 of the Cincinnati Bengals reacts after returning a punt for a touchdown against the Cleveland Browns in the first half of a game at Paul Brown Stadium on November 26, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The returns was nullified by a penalty but the Bengals won 30-16. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
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CINCINNATI, OH - NOVEMBER 26: Adam Jones #24 of the Cincinnati Bengals reacts after returning a punt for a touchdown against the Cleveland Browns in the first half of a game at Paul Brown Stadium on November 26, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The returns was nullified by a penalty but the Bengals won 30-16. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Bengals cornerback Adam Jones witnessed the birth of his son late Saturday night, then re-enacted it during a touchdown celebration Sunday against Browns.

Unfortunately for Jones, his 55-yard punt return was negated by Cethan Carter’s block in the back.

Jones declined to talk after the game, a 30-16 win at Paul Brown Stadium, but he later posted on Instagram a message to his son, Adam Jr., saying "big sis got the ball" and he is "on a mission" to get one for him on a play that counts.

Carter said he felt bad his block caused Jones to miss a chance at a touchdown on such a special day, less than 24 hours after the birth of his son. Jones’ wife, Tishana, gave birth to Adam Jr. just before midnight on Saturday. The couple has one daughter together, and Jones has another daughter from a previous relationship.

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“I was trying to make a block for Pac, but I guess it was the wrong one,” Carter said. “I told him I owed him one, and he was like, ‘Shake it off, don’t worry about it,’ so I just tried to shake it off and make plays on other special teams.”

Jones was coming back from a concussion that sidelined him for last week’s win at Denver, but other than the punt return early in the second quarter, which went for 16 yards, he was relatively quiet Sunday. He finished with two tackles while playing in a rotation at cornerback and didn’t have any other returns, as Cleveland had only one other returnable punt.

The 11th-year veteran also had the Bengals' last punt return for a touchdown, an 81-yarder against Cleveland on Sept. 16, 2012, at Paul Brown Stadium. The one called back Sunday likely would have meant a little more, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said.

“It was a shame,” Lewis said. “It was a great job by him and a great finish with a block by William (Jackson). The guys got a block in the back on the back side … That’s one of the things our young guys have to keep on understanding: They’re giving us the football, they’re punting it where they are punting it from, we’re going to get good field position, so let’s make sure we don’t have to have anything more. Let the returners make the guys miss, and positive yardage is positive yardage. Again, it’s something to learn from. I hope the block in the back was not egregious.

“But that was a good momentum play in the game, too, to (seemingly) get the touchdown there.”

Bengals offensive guard Clint Boling’s wife also had a baby this season, but said he couldn’t imagine the emotions Jones felt playing so quickly after the birth of his son.

Boling’s daughter, Emma, was born the Thursday before the Steelers’ game in Week 7.

“It’s a unique feeling,” Boling said. “It’s something I was happy I was there for it, and to me, it was one of the best feelings in the world to have my daughter be born so I can’t imagine the emotions he was feeling shortly after that. It’s a meaningful day.”

Wide receiver A.J. Green became a father the day before the Bengals’ win at Miami last year and recalled feeling some extra motivation to make his son, Easton Ace, proud. Green finished with 173 yards and one touchdown on 10 catches in the 22-7 win at home and said that was “the icing on the cake” for an overall exciting week.

Green said the touchdown would have been that icing for Jones, too.

“It’s football,” Green said. “Stuff happens. I know he would have liked to have that touchdown but he’s happy.”

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