The Green Bay Packers made multiple unforced errors in their loss to the Detroit Lions on Sunday that cost them a playoff berth.
Rasul Douglas attempted to explain one of them on Monday. The Packers cornerback made one of the more bizarre decisions of the NFL season just before halftime, and it ultimately cost Green Bay 15 yards.
With 2 seconds remaining before halftime, the Lions lined up for a 48-yard field goal while trailing, 9-3. The Packers called a timeout in an effort to ice Lions kicker Michael Badgley. Once the timeout was called, Douglas walked down the line of scrimmage between opposing players and batted the ball away from Lions long snapper Scott Daly.
Still can’t wrap our heads around this - part 2 🤯pic.twitter.com/q1pMUC8wQj
— UK and Irish Packers (@ukpackers) January 9, 2023
Douglas got flagged on the play — but not for batting the ball. Lions players predictably didn't appreciate his incursion into neutral territory. He got a push in the back from right tackle Dan Skipper, then responded by smacking Skipper in his facemask. The smack drew a 15-yard personal foul penalty, and Badgley's 48-yard attempt was reduced to 33. He hit the field goal, and the Lions went into halftime trailing 9-6 before rallying for a 20-16 win.
With questions still swirling on Monday about Douglas' decision, he explained it on Twitter. He didn't want Badgley to get in a practice kick.
Crazy people don’t get why I did this . He missed a kick earlier in the game and we called timeout on this play . I wasn’t about to let him get a free kick so I did this . Now me hitting him after he pushed me I take full accountability for . https://t.co/00sTBoEPB3
— rasul (@rd32_era) January 9, 2023
He succeeded on that front but ultimately made Badgley's job that much easier by cutting the field goal distance by nearly a third.
Douglas' error wasn't the most egregious of the night, though. That honor belongs Quay Walker. The Green Bay linebacker shoved a Lions medical trainer in the back as the trainer stepped in to assist Deandre Swift after the Detroit running back took a blow to the head.
— NFL Stats (@NFL_Stats) January 9, 2023
That decision got Walker ejected from the game. It also cost the Packers five yards in the red zone on Detroit's go-ahead touchdown drive.