- Green Bay Packers running back Ty Montgomery fumbled the ball late in the fourth quarter when he unwisely decided to return a kick instead of kneeling the ball.
- By fumbling, Aaron Rodgers never got the ball for a game-winning drive, and the Los Angeles Rams were able to run out the clock.
- After the game, several Packers players and coaches ripped Montgomery’s decision, with one player believing Montgomery went rogue and ignored team direction because he was mad about his playing time.
A poor decision from Green Bay Packers running back Ty Montgomery was costly late in his team’s 29-27 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.
Trailing the Rams by two with just over two minutes remaining, Montgomery was back to return a kick from the Rams to set up a potential game-winning drive by Aaron Rodgers.
Upon collecting the ball in the end zone, instead of kneeling, Montgomery chose to run it out and return the kick. He made it to the 20-yard line when a Rams special team player was able to knock the ball loose. The Rams recovered the fumble and were then able to run out the clock to end the game.
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After the game, NFL Network’s Mike Silver reported that several Packers coaches and players, including Rodgers, were furious with Montgomery’s decision.
One anecdote even made it sound like Montgomery went rogue and decided to run the ball because he was angry about being taken out of the game a possession before.
“They took him out (the previous drive) for a play and he slammed his helmet and threw a fit,” one unnamed Packers player told Silver. “Then (before the kickoff) they told him to take a knee, and he ran it out anyway. You know what that was? That was him saying, ‘I’m gonna do me.’ It’s a f—– joke.”
The same player expressed confusion about why Montgomery would take such a risk when kneeling would have given Rodgers the chance to lead a game-winning drive – something he’s pretty good at doing.
“I mean, what the f— are you doing? We’ve got Aaron Rodgers, the best I’ve ever seen, and you’re gonna take that risk? I mean, it’s ’12’! All you gotta do is give him the ball, and you know what’s gonna happen.”
One Packers coach said Rodgers was understandably angry afterward.
“Aaron was hot. And he had a right to be. He yelled, ‘Take a f—— knee!’ He was very, very mad.”
“Definitely very disappointing,” Rodgers told reporters of the fumble after the game. “That play didn’t lose the game, but it definitely took an opportunity away for us to go down and win it.”
Packers head coach Mike McCarthy was a little more forgiving of Montgomery for the play.
“I think we all realise with the management of the clock and where we wanted to be there, we wanted to be north of two minutes with the one timeout. We wanted to put the ball in Aaron’s hands,” McCarthy said. “But you also trust your players – tough decisions, close decisions – and like I said, I think Ty was just trying to make a play.”
Packers wide receiver Davante Adams was slightly less forgiving, saying Montgomery should have been smarter.
“How much do I feel for him?” Adams responded to a reporter. “Obviously, he’s not trying to fumble the ball, but you’ve got to be smart in situations like that. I know he’ll learn from it, but at the same time that doesn’t change what happened today.”
Montgomery declined to speak to reporters after the game.
Already the team’s third-string running back, such a costly decision in a close game is unlikely to help Montgomery get more playing time going forward.
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