Northern Illinois suspends Antonio Jones-Davis for poking eyes of Rashaad Penny

Northern Illinois head coach Rod Carey looks on from the sidelines during the second half of an NCAA college football game against San Diego State Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Northern Illinois has suspended linebacker Antonio Jones-Davis for one game following an incident that occurred during Saturday’s game at San Diego State.

A replay showed Jones-Davis poking at the eyes of Aztecs running back Rashaad Penny at the bottom of a pile after a first quarter play. In a statement, NIU coach Rod Carey said he decided to suspend Jones-Davis for next Saturday’s game against Kent State after observing the video and speaking with Jones-Davis.

(via CBS Sports Network)

“Antonio’s action is not indicative of his character, nor that of our players or coaching staff, and does not reflect the values upon which our program has been built,” Carey said. “Last night’s game was extremely hard-fought, it was emotional and it was a chippy game which, at times, crossed the line on both sides, as evidenced by the number of post-play penalties. However, Antonio’s action in that emotional moment was completely unacceptable, and he understands that he must face the consequences.”

Carey said Jones-Davis has “taken full responsibility for his actions.”

“(Jones-Davis) voiced to me his disappointment in himself that he embarrassed the university and the football program,” Carey said. “On behalf of our football program, I want to apologize to San Diego State, coach Rocky Long and Rashaad Penny. Antonio and I will be reaching out personally to them in the near future.

“I’m confident Antonio, and our entire team, will learn from this incident and be better going forward.”

San Diego State won the game 34-28 to improve to 5-0 on the season. The Aztecs are now ranked No. 19 in the country. Penny returned to the game after the eye poke and finished with 107 yards on 25 carries.

Penny is second in the nation with 823 rushing yards.

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Sam Cooper is a writer for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

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