Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane says there may have been a misunderstanding of what was said on the field that led to Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue to accuse Bills offensive guard Richie Incognito of using “weak racist slurs.”
“There was definitely an exchange,” Beane said Tuesday in the Bills’ end-of-season news conference. “I think there is a misunderstanding of what was said.”
Beane says the team has spoken to Incognito and understands their player’s side of the story of the alleged exchange that occurred during Buffalo’s 10-3 loss to the Jaguars in an AFC wild-card playoff game on Sunday. Beane confirmed that some type of exchange happened but declined to get into details.
“From what I understand, it was a little bit of on the field stuff, back and forth,” Beane said, adding that the team is still gathering facts about what happened.
Beane said Incognito has attempted to contact Ngakoue about the exchange. The team has also been in contact with the NFL about Ngakoue’s accusation, which he tweeted hours after Sunday’s game.
Beane added that the Bills take the allegation “very seriously,” and are cooperating with the league’s investigation.
Ngakoue said on Monday that it happened after a running play, but he could not recall whether Incognito used the N-word.
“No, I don’t remember, but, you know, he said what he said,” Ngakoue said. “He knows what he said. I don’t have to repeat it.”
Incognito was not available during the Bills’ open locker room period on Monday, but two teammates, Eric Wood and Dion Dawkins, spoke in his defense and told reporters they did not hear him use any racial slurs.
Jaguars defensive end Calais Campbell said Monday it seemed like Bills players were deliberately trying to antagonize Jaguars players.
“I think they were really trying to get us to lose our cool and try to get penalties,” Campbell said. “There were a lot of guys talking as if it was coached to get us to lose our cool, so we can get a 15-yard penalty. I think that’s something we’re going to have to deal with because we’ve shown we can be a little too aggressive at times.