Packers' Quay Walker ejected for shoving Lions' medical staffer

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Packers' Quay Walker ejected for shoving Lions' medical staffer originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Green Bay Packers linebacker Quay Walker became the only player to be ejected twice this season following a strange and seemingly unprovoked shove of a Detroit Lions athletic trainer during Sunday Night Football.

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The Lions staffer tried to move Walker out of the way to get to injured running back D'Andre Swift midway through the fourth quarter, but Walker responded by shoving him in the back.

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Walker apologized Monday morning on social media.

“I want to apologize publicly about what happened Sunday night,” Walker wrote on Twitter. “I reacted off of my emotions again and take full responsibility of making another stupid decision. Since then I’ve questioned myself on why did I do what I did when the trainer was doing his job!! I was wrong!! I understand I have to face everything that comes with the decision I’ve made and I’m definitely paying for it now. Also to explain my frustration in the tunnel. I wasn’t upset about being kicked out, I just knew I messed up again and was wrong for what I did and couldn’t believe I did it again. To the Detroit lions and to the entire training staff including the person I did that too.I’m sorry.”

At the time, Green Bay held a narrow lead and was clinging on to their postseason hopes in need of a win. However, the ejection, and the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that came along with it, proved to be a huge momentum swing as the Lions took the lead with a touchdown three plays later and collected an interception on the subsequent possession. Detroit ultimately hung on to win 20-16 and deny Green Bay a spot in the playoffs, allowing the Seattle Seahawks to claim the NFC's third and final wild card berth.

The shove came in a week where athletic trainers and medical staff have been heralded for their heroics in saving Bills safety Damar Hamlin. Among the many tributes and ceremonies held around the league was an ovation held for the entire Bills medical staff prior to kickoff of their regular season finale.

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This was the rookie’s second ejection of the season. He was tossed during the Packers' Week 8 loss to the Buffalo Bills after getting involved in an altercation with practice tight end Zach Davidson.

“That is unacceptable,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur told reporters Sunday about Walker's ejection. “I’ve got a much higher standard for our players than to do silly things like that. We’ve got a guy ejected twice. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that in my career. We’ve got to be much more mentally tough. Any time our guys commit personal fouls I take that very personally because I think that’s always a reflection of myself and the standards we set for these players. And we’ve got to be better and we’ve got to learn from that because that is unacceptable.”