Alfred Morris’ red zone fumble Monday night was one of the turning points of the game, but what ensued in the seconds after the Washington Redskins running back put the ball on the ground was the subject of much discussion afterward.
Following Morris’ fumble, Redskins and New York Giants players piled on to try to recover. In the process, Giants defensive tackle Linval Joseph grabbed Redskins center Will Montgomery’s ankle to pull him out of the pile. Joseph appeared to try to stomp on Montgomery.
Flags flew, including one on Redskins guard Kory Lichtensteiger. He and Joseph were given personal foul penalties that offset.
“He had my leg and was yanking me out of the pile,” Montgomery said. “I was just trying to get my leg loose and then he ended up kicking or stomping me or whatever he did. I wasn’t quite sure what happened there.”
Joseph told New York media that Montgomery kicked at him.
“It took me everything not to hit him back, because I didn’t want to hurt the team, I didn’t want to get fined,” he said, as quoted by the New York Daily News.
Lichtensteiger wasn’t entirely sure why he drew a flag. It looked like at one point he dived into the fracas.
“I saw No. 95, Rocky Bernard, getting after one of our guys, so I stepped in there and tried to push him off. That’s really all I did,” he said. “Certainly wasn’t expecting to hear my number called. I don’t know. Maybe they called the wrong number or maybe they just happened to see me out of everybody. But I certainly couldn’t be the worst offender in that pile.”
Redskins players weren’t happy at what they thought was Joseph stomping on Montgomery.
“I think the whole world saw it. I don’t know how the refs missed it. Maybe they had blinders on,” left tackle Trent Williams said. “We don’t need that in our game. We’ll let the league office take care of that.”
Coach Mike Shanahan wanted to avoid getting a call from the NFL office after his team’s 17-16 victory.
“I don’t even want to talk about that one. I don’t want to get fined after a win,” Shanahan said. “After a loss I can take the punishment. But, anyway, it is what it is.”
Montgomery brushed off concern about the incident, calling it a “crazy situation all the way around.”
“I think it was just something in the heat of the moment, and I’m not too worried about it,” he said.