The Green Bay Packers needed to move themselves into position for a go-ahead field goal in the waning moments of the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game against the undefeated Los Angeles Rams.
The Packers (3-3-1) had 2:09 on the clock, one timeout and were trailing by two.
They didn’t get that chance, however, after Ty Montgomery elected to return a kickoff that sailed into the end zone, resulting in a fumble that effectively snuffed out any chance of a comeback.
“That play didn’t lose the game,” star quarterback Aaron Rodgers said, “but it definitely took way an opportunity for us to go down and win it.”
Rodgers reportedly used stronger language, per an unidentified Packers’ coach to Mike Silver of NFL.com.
“Aaron was hot,” a Packers coach told Silver. “And he had a right to be. He yelled, ‘Take a (expletive) knee!’ He was very, very mad.”
Montgomery elected against talking to reporters on Sunday, going so far as to press his cell phone to his ear when asked for a comment after the Rams’ 29-27 victory.
The 25-year-old Montgomery was limited to just six yards on two carries while fellow running back Aaron Jones finished with 86 yards on 12 totes.
Per more than a half-dozen Packers players, Montgomery had “thrown a tantrum” after being removed from the game during Green Bay’s previous series. The Packers’ decision to remove him from the game perhaps led Montgomery into deciding to return the kickoff, according to one player.
“They took him out (the previous drive) 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.”