If you watched Sunday's game between the Packers and Rams and yelled, "Why didn't you just take a knee?" when Green Bay's Ty Montgomery fumbled the ball on a kickoff return with less than two minutes left in the game, you have something in common with the basically the entire Packers team.
According to unnamed members of the Packers who spoke to Michael Silver of NFL.com, Montgomery was instructed by the coaches to take a knee on the kickoff return after Los Angeles pulled ahead 29-27 late in the game. However, Montgomery decided to take the ball out of the end zone and then lost it after getting hit by Ramik Wilson just past the 20-yard line.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers was expecting to get just more than two minutes to go downfield with one timeout needing just three points for the win. Instead, he remained on the sideline and watched Rams running back Todd Gurley seal the game with a 17-yard carry on a third-and-10.
"Aaron was hot," an unnamed Packers coach told Silver. "And he had a right to be. He yelled, 'Take a f------ knee!' He was very, very mad."
Montgomery's decision to ignore the coach's instructions could be connected to how he felt about getting taken out of Green Bay's previous series, according to one of the players who spoke to Silver. The Packers lost six yards on a three-and-out on their final possession. Montgomery, who was targeted on a pass attempt to start the drive, threw a tantrum on the sidelines after he was taken out of the game during that set of downs.
"They took him out [the previous drive] for a play and he slammed his helmet and threw a fit," the 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.
"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."
Montgomery didn't discuss the play with the media on Sunday, but did address the anonymous quotes on Monday.
“We talk about being brothers,” Montgomery told the media on Monday. “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.”
Rodgers, who went 18-for-30 for 286 yards and one touchdown on the day, called it "frustrating" to lose a game in that way at the end.
The 3-3-1 Packers will now get ready for a Sunday night matchup in New England with the Patriots. However, getting over Sunday's heartbreak was likely not a short process.