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Watkins Was Tackled by Hair vs. Lions

Green Bay Packers receiver Sammy Watkins had a rough day against the Detroit Lions, starting with his only catch.
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GREEN BAY, Wis. – There are bad hair days. There are bad days at the office.

Green Bay Packers receiver Sammy Watkins had both on Sunday at Detroit.

Watkins caught 1-of-5 passes for 9 yards. On his only catch, Lions safety Kerby Joseph tackled him by the hair.

“It’s happened before, yes, and I wish that wouldn’t have happened,” Watkins said on Thursday. “I probably would’ve got a couple more yards. I tried to find ways to tie it up and they wouldn’t work, so I was like, forget it, next play.”

On the play, Watkins caught a short pass from Aaron Rodgers and was taking the ball upfield. Joseph’s tackle put an abrupt end to that.

“It didn’t hurt but it scared me,” Watkins said. “I’m like, ‘I’m about to break my neck.’ It was like whiplash. I was like, ‘Oh, shit, let me go down.’ It wasn’t scary at that moment but, when he pulled it, I’m like, I better go with it. Wherever’s he pulling, just fall with it. I was running and it’s like, ‘Oh!’ I didn’t want to have it to the point to where he pulled me down like a horse-collar and something happens. That’s the bad part of having long hair.”

Detroit Lions safety Kerby Joseph tackled Green Bay Packers receiver Sammy Watkins by the hair. (Photo by Kirthmon F. Dozier/USA Today Sports)

Detroit Lions safety Kerby Joseph tackled Green Bay Packers receiver Sammy Watkins by the hair. (Photo by Kirthmon F. Dozier/USA Today Sports)

Watkins’ day didn’t get any better. The Packers ran the same play to the other side of the field on the next play. Watkins dropped it. He dropped an off-target pass on third-and-3 from the 7 in the fourth quarter, too.

Arguably the biggest play of the game came late in the first quarter. On second-and-goal at the 1, Watkins ran a slant and Rodgers threw an end-zone fade.

“That was my fault, just thinking too deep and not paying attention to what he gave me,” Watkins said. “I was so locked in on the guy and focusing on winning and I didn’t catch the signal. Got to hone in a little bit more and watch Aaron because he’s a veteran guy. He seen the guy inside, I seen the guy inside and I’m wondering how I’m going to beat him. The next thing you know, he’s giving me the signal and I didn’t catch it. That was totally on me.”

Had Watkins picked up Rodgers’ signal, the Packers might have taken a 7-0 lead. Instead, a couple plays later, Rodgers’ fourth-down pass to David Bakhtiari was intercepted. It was a near-perfect summary of the season for Green Bay’s sputtering offense. The Packers are 14th in total offense and 17th on third down – mediocre numbers, to be sure – but 27th in scoring.

“That can’t happen,” Watkins said of the second-and-goal miscommunication. “I think that play right there, I run that fade, that’s a touchdown and we don’t get in that situation of being down. I think those are critical plays that we have all miscommunicated on in certain situations during the game. Honestly, you can’t have that. Once you have stuff like that that you can’t get back, pretty much kind of ‘F’ up yourself as a team.

“As a wideout, as a group, we can’t miss the little, small cues because you don’t get those plays back in the game. That’s one that we didn’t get back. That would’ve probably been an easy walk-in touchdown for myself. Not being locked in, that little play kind of screwed us up. We get up, the game is over. They don’t score anymore and we’ll be freaking riding on the plane and everybody’s happy. I put that on me.”

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