GREEN BAY, Wis. — The box score shows that Green Bay Packers tight end Ryan Taylor was flagged for a 15-yard personal foul. The officials saw Taylor shove Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict to the ground for apparently no reason.
The replays, however, gave a much different viewpoint on why Taylor lashed out. It was a below-the-belt shot delivered by Burfict, which prompted Taylor to respond.
“Obviously I think what happened has no place in football, but it happened,” Taylor said Monday in the locker room. “I don’t blame the ref at all for throwing the flag. I think what was done to me was a little bit harder to see and the retaliation was obviously something that can’t happen.
“Usually the second guy gets caught, and that’s what happened.”
The Packers had just connected on an extra point and taken a 30-14 lead over the Bengals midway through the third quarter when Burfict mixed it up with Taylor. Cincinnati started its next drive at the 35-yard line and scored a touchdown four plays later. That was the beginning of the Bengals’ comeback that eventually resulted in Green Bay losing, 34-30.
“Coach McCarthy had some pretty harsh words on the field, but he didn’t seem as upset about it today,” Taylor said.
So, after McCarthy saw the replay, he likely forgave — at least to an extent — Taylor’s penalty.
“It was a reactionary thing,” Taylor said. “It wasn’t something that I maybe could’ve helped, but it happened so fast. It was just one of those things and it happened and we’ll move on from.”
Though the referees didn’t see what Burfict did, the NFL office certainly has, and a fine could be handed down later in the week.
“I’m not going to get all caught up in any of that,” Taylor said. “I don’t have any ill will toward him. I know guys sometimes get real caught up in the game. It was obviously a very physical game, especially on the field goals. I thought both teams on both sides were very physical on the field goal. A lot of scrums, a lot of pushing on our field goals and their field goals. It happens like that sometimes.”
Even if Burfict is fined, the damage was done in the context of the game with Cincinnati benefitting from the flag on Taylor.
“I guess if that’s what he was going for, he got it,” Taylor said.