Ty Montgomery made a decision to take a kickoff out of the end zone on Sunday against the Rams that quite possibly cost the Packers the game, and eliminated a lot of margin of error they have in their remaining nine games for a playoff push. Now, reports indicate that the decision a) might have been insubordinate, and b) enraged Aaron Rodgers.
Mike McCarthy said in his postgame press conference that the “plan” was for Montgomery to stay in the end zone, but that he must have been trying to make a play. Rob Demovsky of ESPN asked aloud if the Packers would view this as insubordination, and, if so, whether they’d move on from the running back.
The situation gets more dire for Montgomery. Mike Silver of NFL Media writes:
“Aaron was hot,” said one Packers coach. “And he had a right to be. He yelled, ‘Take a f—— knee!’ He was very, very mad.”
In the eyes of many of Rodgers’ teammates, his ire was justifiable. According to more than a half-dozen Packers players and coaches who witnessed it, Montgomery had thrown a tantrum of his own on Green Bay’s previous offensive series, becoming noticeably enraged on the sideline after being removed from the game. At least one player believed there was carryover from that incident to Montgomery’s decision to disregard his coaches’ instruction and return the kickoff.
“They took him out (the previous drive) for a play and he slammed his helmet and threw a fit,” one Packers 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 f—– joke.
Montgomery was already getting carries that should have been going to Aaron Jones this season. In the last three weeks Montgomery had 10 carries for 33 yards; in that time Jones had 27 carries for 167 yards. Jones is averaging 6.2 yards per carry this year and frankly needs the ball a whole lot more.
It is a rough business to call for a man’s job over this type of error, but the Packers had played themselves into a position up to this point where the stakes were razor thin and they really needed to win this game. Montgomery was already an expendable player, and with McCarthy presumably on the chopping block if Green Bay fails to make the playoffs this may be a time he opts to send a message of accountability.