Ty Montgomery cost the Green Bay Packers a chance at a comeback against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday when he fumbled the ball on a late-game kickoff return, but he dismisses the notion he intentionally defied orders to take a knee in the end zone.
Speaking to reporters a day after the Packers’ 29-27 loss, Montgomery said he was told what he’s always told before kickoffs — "if it’s in the end zone, keep it in the end zone" — but added he believed he could make a play since it was near the goal line.
"I had a returnable ball," Montgomery said, via Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "So I made a split-second decision on, I don’t know if this is going to land on the goal line. So I’m not going to take a knee on the goal line, at the half-yard line and take a chance at putting the game in the ref’s hands.
"Unfortunately, I ended up fumbling the football," Montgomery continued. "I don’t think we’d be having this conversation if I didn’t fumble the football because we know how good our two-minute offense is. But I’ve never been a guy to completely disobey what I’m being told. I think you can ask a lot of guys in our locker room. That’s not what I do. That’s not the type of man I am. That’s not the kind of person I am."
Montgomery’s defense of his decision to return the kickoff comes after NFL Network’s Michael Silver reported that more than half a dozen Packers players and coaches noticed Montgomery throwing a tantrum on the sideline after being removed from the game during Green Bay’s previous offensive series. At least one player believed Montgomery’s decision to defy orders was sparked by being pulled in favor of Aaron Jones.
Montgomery told reporters he was frustrated by the team’s decision to pull him from the game but said it had nothing to do with returning the kickoff.
"Absolutely not, and that’s the point that I was trying to make," he said. " … I’m very disappointed in the fact that was said and they tried to make correlations that don’t exist."
Montgomery also expressed frustration over the anonymous comments made about him after the game.
"We talk about being brothers," he said. "We talk about being family and keeping things in-house, in-house, this, that and the other. That’s not what happened. I don’t know. Maybe that’s what they do in their family. That’s not what I do in mine. No one ever said anything to me. No one ever came to me. So I’m thoroughly disappointed in the speculation and just the backlash I have to deal with now. Because now, we’re talking about my character. We’re not even talking about the fumble anymore, we’re talking about my character. We’re talking about the reasons why I did what I did, and I’m not OK with that."
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