The Packers and Lions met on Sunday Night Football with Detroit’s season already over thanks to the Seahawks’ comeback win over the Rams, but Green Bay could book their postseason ticket with a home win.
The two teams engaged in a defensive battle in the first half, with some touchdowns finally getting on the board in the second half, which turned into a back-and-forth affair as the Lions still had plenty of motivation to finish that year with a winning record (while knocking a hated rival out of the playoffs in the process). It wasn’t a game for silly penalties given the stakes, but Quay Walker managed to produce one of the silliest of the season in the fourth quarter and drive Detroit into the red zone.
After being attacked (and hit in the head with a forearm that was not called), D’Andre Swift remained downstairs, attracting the attention of Detroit training staff. When one of the trainers arrived at the scene, Walker was still standing over Swift and attempted to squeeze past Walker to check on him, with Walker deciding this was unacceptable and delivering a two-handed backward jab at him.
That resulted in an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and, after a short delay, when New York is believed to have canceled, Walker, who is a key part of the Packers defense, was kicked out. As Mike Tirico and Cris Collinsworth noted on the call, it would always be frowned upon to rush a coach, but to do so this week of all times, as the NFL world was praising the work of Buffalo’s coaching staff in saving Damar Hamlin’s life, was it a particularly bad looks.
Packers coach Matt LaFleur yelled at Walker to “be smart” after the flag, and after Walker was announced ruled out of the game, he was dismayed at his extremely poor decision as he headed down the tunnel to the dressing room. The Lions would pay off the drive with a go-ahead touchdown, and if the Packers keep losing and miss the postseason, Walker will have to sit with it all offseason.
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