FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) The Patriots' official Twitter account sent out - and then deleted - a picture of the New York Jets' infamous ''butt fumble'' as the AFC East rivals approach Sunday's game in New England.
With a hashtag for ''Throwback Thursday'' and the caption, ''This seems relevant,'' the Patriots sent the picture of Mark Sanchez losing the football after running into the rear end of offensive lineman Brandon Moore in 2012. The tweet was deleted, but a screenshot of it was published by the New York Post.
Patriots spokesman Stacey James did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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The Patriots (5-0) host the Jets (4-1) on Sunday for the division lead.
Jets coach Todd Bowles said he was unaware of the tweet and wasn't ''a Twitter guy.'' But running back Stevan Ridley, a former Patriot, said New England coach Bill Belichick would not take kindly to the team's social media department stirring things up.
Asked what he thought the strict Patriots mentor would do to the employee who sent the tweet, Ridley said with a smile, ''There's no telling, man.
''I wouldn't be surprised if he wasn't there (anymore),'' he said.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL