The Pro Bowl practices are underway in Orlando, Florida and one divisional rivalry has taken a bit of a sinister turn, as Jets safety Jamal Adams decided to uncork a huge hit on Pat the Patriot, New England's mascot, on the sidelines of practice. The result, Adams told reporters on Thursday, is that the man inside the mascot costume was hospitalized.

Adams was signing autographs for fans when he yelled "I'm fixing to go knock this mascot out!" and went sprinting towards the silent man in the Patriots costume. He launched himself and blitzed the dude, who appeared to take it in stride (without being able to actually see the reaction inside the costume).

ESPN posted about the incident with a laughing emoji and so did The Checkdown, an official NFL social account. But the latter deleted its post, which leads you to believe perhaps the NFL thinks there isn't something so funny about what happened.

Indeed, as it turns out, via ESPN's Dianni Russini, Adams said that the NFL has been calling him a bunch about the injury to the man behind the Pats mascot. Adams added in a wrestling-heel style voice that he did not regret what happened.

"They're not happy with me right now. The NFL is calling my phone, blowing me up, saying that I put him in the hospital so I gotta go check on him, make sure he's OK," Adams said. "But do I regret it? NOOOOOOOOOO!"

Speaking to ESPN's Michael DiRocco, Adams sounded a little more contrite -- almost as if he'd talked to someone at the NFL about the incident and things were not as funny as he originally thought. 

"He [the mascot] was running around and everybody was booing him, so I said, 'You know what? Let me go tackle him,'" Adams said. "I didn't hit him that hard, man. All jokes aside, I didn't hit him that hard. I don't know what's really going on, but they did tell me he's in the hospital. My intention was never to hurt him. it was all about just a joke but I definitely want to check on him and make sure everything is good. At the end of the day we were out here just having fun and it wasn't nothing intentionally to try to hurt the guy."

Fortunately it sounds as if everything is OK? Pat the Patriot tweeted out "hate us 'cause they ain't us" in response to the Adams tweet, indicating that he is not suffering from debilitating injuries.

And a Patriots spokesman told CBS Boston that the mascot is just "sore."

We haven't had a good Patriots-related scandal and/or piece of drama in well over a year now, so maybe this is the spot to get one started. Or, the guy be OK. Hopefully it's the latter. A week-plus of MASCOT-GATE would be unbearable. 

Either way, maybe Jamal Adams shouldn't be launching himself into unsuspecting men in giant military costumes. It's 15 yards on the field and a fine. You'd think the same standard would apply off the field too. 

Super Bowl LIII is Sunday, Feb. 3, in Atlanta and it will air on CBS and streamed here on and the CBS Sports App for free on most connected devices.