GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Green Bay Packers linebacker Quay Walker apologized after the second ejection of his rookie season and said he has spoken directly to the Detroit Lions physician he shoved during the fourth quarter of Sunday night's game.
Walker issued an apology via Twitter and expressed his regret again while speaking to reporters Monday.
“Another rookie mistake,” Walker said. “Selfish. Just a selfish act of me. Very, just very stupid and dumb. I’ll say immature of me. Once again, made the same mistake twice. I just always seem to overreact at times and I did it again last night. That was pretty much it.”
The incident occurred Sunday during Detroit’s go-ahead touchdown drive midway through the fourth quarter of a 20-16 Lions victory that prevented the Packers from reaching the playoffs. Walker was close behind two Lions staffers as they attended to Detroit running back D’Andre Swift, Walker’s former Georgia teammate.
Lions team physician Sean Lynch put his left hand on Walker’s right elbow to move him away from the staffers so he could check on Swift as well. Walker then shoved Lynch in the back.
Packers rookie defensive tackle Devonte Wyatt — who also played at Georgia with Walker and Swift — later appeared to bump his left shoulder into Lynch’s back but didn’t get penalized.
Walker said he was in the area because he wanted to see how his former college teammate was doing, but he now realizes he shouldn't have done anything to interfere with any Lions staffers.
“I’ve got to get out of the way and let him do his job and that’s it,” Walker said.
Walker said he apologized to his teammates as well as reaching out to the Lions.
“I made a mistake, I did what I did, and I own up to that,” Walker said. “It’s just something I’ve got to live with. It’s a mistake I made and I just pray that they forgive me and that’s all I can do at this point — and own up to everything and face everything that comes with it. That’s all I can do.”
Cameras showed a visibly frustrated Walker head to the locker room after his ejection.
The Packers selected both Walker and Wyatt in the first round of the 2022 draft, taking Walker 22nd overall and Wyatt 28th.
This was the second time Walker got ejected from a game in his rookie season. He also was ejected during an Oct. 30 loss at Buffalo after shoving Bills practice squad tight end Zach Davidson on the sideline.
“For people who don’t know me, I did the same thing twice, so I put out this image that I don’t want of myself, but I did it,” Walker said. "So I have to live with it. I can’t quite change how people view me. I try my best to try to change it, but you understand what I’m saying. I can’t control that. That’s out of my control. Once again, I just pray they forgive me. Once again, I’m human just like everybody else. And I have to face everything that I did last night and just live with it."
Packers coach Matt LaFleur expressed his disappointment Sunday night and called Walker's action unacceptable. While speaking about the incident Monday, LaFleur credited Walker for apologizing and taking responsibility for what happened.
“I don’t think Quay is a malicious person,” LaFleur said. “I think he has got to find a way to better channel his emotions in the heat of the battle, because certainly it’s gotten the better of him twice now, and he’s well aware of that. I know he feels terrible.”
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