The Green Bay Packers were eliminated from the playoffs on Sunday night by the Detroit Lions, as Detroit’s 20-16 win ensured neither NFC North squad would be heading to the postseason after Seattle’s win earlier in the day.
It was a tight game throughout, with the Lions emerging on top thanks to a late touchdown drive that got some assistance towards the end by one of the most bizarre unsportsmanlike conduct penalties of the season. After D’Andre Swift got clobbered at the 10 yard line, the Lions training staff trotted out on the field to tend to the running back. As a third member of the staff got to him, Packers rookie Quay Walker was standing over Swift and the trainer had to push past him to get in to check on him. Walker then gave the trainer a two-handed shove in the back, earning a 15-yard penalty and an ejection that had everyone, from Packers coach Matt LaFleur to the NBC booth stunned at what they’d seen.
That penalty pushed the Lions down to the five yard line for first-and-goal, and they would eventually punch it in for the game-winning score as Walker had to leave the field. On Monday morning, Walker took to Twitter to own up to what was a low moment for him and apologize to the Lions training staff, his team, and Packers fans for his costly penalty.
I want to apologize publicly about what happened Sunday night. I reacted off of my emotions again and take full responsibility of making another stupid decision. Since then I’ve questioned myself on why did I do what I did when the trainer was doing his job!! I was wrong!!Advertisement
— Quay (@QuayWalker_) January 9, 2023
Walker was seen distraught in the tunnel as he left the field and he also explained that it wasn’t anger at the call, but anger with himself over making a dumb decision and costing himself a chance to have a role in the outcome of the game.
Also to explain my frustration in the tunnel. I wasn’t upset about being kicked out, I just knew I messed up again and was wrong for what I did and couldn’t believe I did it again. To the Detroit lions and to the entire training staff including the person I did that too.I’m sorry
— Quay (@QuayWalker_) January 9, 2023AdvertisementAdvertisement
It’s clear that Walker feels awful about what happened and seems well aware of how stupid that push was. He’s an incredibly talented young player and hopefully he’ll have plenty of chances to erase this as the standout memory of his Packers tenure thus far. He also hopefully won’t be scapegoated as the reason the Packers lost that game, as there were plenty of mistakes made by the team, including a couple bad interceptions thrown by Aaron Rodgers, that played just as large a role in falling short of the playoffs.