JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Jacksonville Jaguars executive Tom Coughlin is backing cornerback Jalen Ramsey, saying he "was playing football within the rules" when Cincinnati Bengals receiver A.J. Green attacked him Sunday.

Ramsey and Green were ejected late in the first half of Jacksonville's 23-7 victory.

Referee Brad Allen said Ramsey was ejected for instigating the fight, and Green was tossed for throwing punches. Officials warned both players following verbal exchanges earlier in the game.

Coughlin took exception with Ramsey's dismissal.

"Our players are instructed to not retaliate or get involved or do anything that would result in eviction because that would hurt the team," Coughlin said in a statement on Tuesday.

"Team comes first, and Jalen was trying to not hurt his team. While he did push his opponent -- something that happened with other players during the game -- he did not retaliate, he threw no punches, and he did not fight back.

"Jalen was doing what Coach (Doug) Marrone has instructed him to do, which is to play tough, be physical and to make every play difficult for his opponent. There was banter going back and forth during the game, but Jalen was playing football within the rules."

The NFL said Monday that Green would not be suspended for his actions. Ramsey and Green both could be fined for the fight.


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