The Green Bay Packers were supposed to have 2:09, one timeout and the two-minute warning for Aaron Rodgers and the offense to get into position for a potentially game-winning field goal against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.
But returner Ty Montgomery literally fumbled that chance away — and disobeyed coaches in the process.
Montgomery ignored instructions
Via an inside-the-locker room story by NFL Media’s Mike Silver, Montgomery was told by coaches to field the kickoff from the Rams’ Greg Zuerlein and simply take a knee. It was the safe play, but the smart one, since Rodgers and the offense would be guaranteed to get the ball at their 25.
But when the kick came, Montgomery fielded it a couple of yards in the end zone — and brought it out. Not only did he only bring it out to the 20 before he was tackled, costing his team five valuable yards, Rams linebacker Ramik Wilson jarred the ball loose, Montgomery fumbled, and Wilson recovered it.
On the sideline, Rodgers was visibly angry, and justifiably so.
“Aaron was hot,” one Packers coach told Silver. “And he had a right to be. He yelled, ‘Take a [expletive] knee!’ He was very, very mad.”
Los Angeles killed the clock to keep their undefeated record intact.
Montgomery threw a temper tantrum
Montgomery may have ignored instructions because he was upset about Green Bay’s previous possession.
More than a half-dozen players and coaches told Silver that Montgomery threw a tantrum on the sideline, angry after he was taken out of the game.
At least one of his teammates believed Montgomery took the kickoff out of the end zone because of that anger.
“They took him out for a play and he slammed his helmet and threw a fit,” the player said. “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 [expletive] joke.
“I mean, what the [expletive] 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.”
Montgomery, a running back/receiver/returner, had two carries for six yards and one catch for two yards on offense.
Rodgers frustrated, teammates shocked
Rodgers didn’t hide his disappointment at the way the game played out, both in a lack of aggressiveness and the game-killing fumble.
“Our defense was playing really well and stopping them over and over again. We’ve got to get more than 10 points while that’s happening,” Rodgers said, referring to the first half, when Los Angeles struggled to convert third downs (3-for-9), and the Packers’ rush defense held Todd Gurley in check. During that time, the Packers only scored 10 points.
“And then to have it end the way it did,” Rodgers said. “Obviously, it’s frustrating.”
Another Green Bay player said, “This game was a bunch of little [expletive] that built up and caught us in the end. And [Montgomery’s decision to take the ball out of the end zone] – I don’t even know what that was. I’m still in shock.”
It bears watching what Green Bay will do with Montgomery, if anything; if multiple players know he deliberately disobeyed coaches, can you just put him back on the field? Will he get any discipline? Is cutting him on the table?
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