Packers' Ty Montgomery says he should have taken knee

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Ty Montgomery didn't talk after he fumbled away a chance for Aaron Rodgers to win Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Rams, but he had plenty to say on Monday.

The Green Bay Packers backup running back admitted he made a mistake -- one that apparently won't cost him his spot on the team -- when he brought a kickoff out from 2 yards deep in the end zone with 2:05 left in the game and then fumbled, which allowed the Rams to run out the clock.

Montgomery acknowledged what coach Mike McCarthy said after the game, that he was supposed to take a knee, but Montgomery said he was concerned the ball was on the border of the goal line.

"I made a split-second decision, I don't know if this is going to land on the goal line," Montgomery said Monday. "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 refs' hands. Unfortunately, I ended up fumbling the football. 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."

Support on the record for Montgomery from players was lukewarm after the game and even less so off the record. NFL.com quoted an anonymous Packers player saying: "They took him out [the previous drive] for a play and he slammed his helmet and threw a fit. Then 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---ing 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 denied that he threw a "tantrum" on the sideline after getting pulled from the previous series and said his frustration over his lack of playing time had nothing to do with the kick return decision.

"I saw the word 'tantrum' used -- obviously it was sent to me," Montgomery said. "I was frustrated. I'm not the only player that's been frustrated. I've never fought anyone on the sideline, I've never cursed out my teammates. I don't curse out coaches, and I've seen some of those things. I've even seen a couple of coaches fighting. That's not what I do.

"However, I got a little frustrated. I wanted to make a play. I wasn't playing very much and I wasn't able to make a play and I was frustrated about that. I don't fully understand what my role is right now, what I'm supposed to be doing, how I'm supposed to help this team. And it's frustrating when I want to help the team and I get limited opportunities and it didn't happen on that play. So I came off frustrated about it."

Montgomery, who converted from receiver to running back midway through the 2016 season, played just six snaps on offense against the Rams. He had two carries for 6 yards and one catch for 2 yards. His last snap was an incompletion thrown his way on the Packers' final drive.

"It's very frustrating that the perception in the media now is no one has my back. I'm insubordinate. I'm a cancer, whatever is out there," Montgomery said.

"There's a lot of stuff that's not true that's causing me to have to deal with false accusations about my character, perceptions about my character. I've never been one to throw teammates under the bus. You guys know if you guys ever ask me questions about teammates, I always deflect it. I don't like it. So it's very disappointing especially as a guy who's jeopardized the length of his career, the amount of money he can make in his career, in the middle of a season being asked to do multiple things all the time. That's all I'm going to say about that."

He also said he would like the player or players who ripped him anonymously to speak to him.

"That hasn't happened," Montgomery said. "I'm a guy that doesn't shy away from the truth no matter how much the truth hurts. I'd rather have the truth than spare my feelings because it's just going to hurt a lot worse later on. I'm walking around with a mindset that I'm not supposed to have. I would like that person to come say something to me. I'm human. So I went through the whole speculation myself of how many guys got together and decided this is what they're going to say. How many people has he spoken to? How many people has he convinced or pulled on his side about me and the speculations he has about me? But I can't control that. I'm not going to deal with that. I'm just going to be myself. Every single day."

Montgomery, who is active on social media, said he's seen threatening replies to his posts.

"People are sending message to my wife, people are making comments on posts about my son. I'm getting phone calls, people offering their houses to stay [at] because apparently people are making threats online," he said. "I'm thoroughly pissed off at the state of humanity right now. That's all I can really say about that."

Veteran cornerback Tramon Williams, who is the Packers' punt returner, offered his support to Montgomery.

"I'll tell you what, the people who said that, it's unfortunate that they said that," Williams said. "That's the reason they are anonymous and not said their name. If they want to say it, put their name by it. That's them. Whoever that is, it is what it is. But we're going to have Ty's back. I know for a fact he didn't do it selfishly. It may look that way, but he didn't do it selfishly. I've been playing for a long time and I've been in situations that he has. I've been in worse situations than he has. I got a chance to talk to him after the game because I understand it takes a friend to build somebody up after something like that. You're already going to beat yourself up about it. So I talked to him quite a bit, just to let him know we're here with him and we understand what went on but handle it like a professional and just move on from it. That's all you can do is a learning experience."

McCarthy gave no indication whether the Packers would cut Montgomery, but it's unclear if he will continue as the primary kickoff returner. McCarthy also said he put little stock in any apparent internal venom toward Montgomery.

"I've always been so impressed with how much an NFL football player, regardless of the teams I've been with, how much they care about not disappointing their teammate," McCarthy said. "That's a tremendous characteristic that I've always felt is very evident, and it's clearly evident in our locker room. As far as the drama and the nonsense about it, I have nothing to say. You want to know if it was emotional in that locker room? You're damn right it was. And it should have been and I want it to be, because that's a reflection of how much these guys care. It's a reflection on how much they want to win."