The Packers were in a position to win Sunday’s game against the Colts because of plays Marquez Valdes-Scantling made. But it’s the play he didn’t make — fumbling the ball deep in Green Bay territory to set up Indianapolis’ game-winning field goal — that some fans latched onto.
Valdes-Scantling tweeted after his team’s 34-31 loss that he had received death threats for that fumble.
Death threats over a football game? Jesus you people need help. It’s actually sick. I’m good. My team got my back. ✊🏾— Marquez V-S (@MVS__11) November 23, 2020
“Death threats over a football game? Jesus you people need help. It’s actually sick. I’m good. My team got my back,” the third-year pro out of South Florida tweeted.
That fumble helped seal the game for the Colts, who came back from a 14-point halftime deficit because of a Packers defense that struggled to stop the run and an offense that turned off following intermission.
Still, Valdes-Scantling played a big part in pushing the game to overtime. Shortly before halftime, the 26-year-old receiver burned his defender down field, drawing a 51-yard pass interference call. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers found running back Jamaal Williams for a score on the next play.
And with time winding down late in regulation, Rodgers and Green Bay were backed up at their own six-yard line, facing a third-and-10.
Rodgers fired a high, floating ball deep down field, and Valdes-Scantling reeled the pass in for a 47-yard gain. That chunk play enabled Mason Crosby to kick the game-tying field goal, sending the game to overtime.
Valdes-Scantling finished the matchup with three catches for 55 yards. Last week, in a win over the Jaguars, he pulled down four catches for 149 yards and a score. And a week before that, his two catches against the 49ers resulted in two touchdowns.
So even with his costly fumble — and a history of drops — coach Matt LaFleur backed Valdes-Scantling after the game.
“I know he’s really hurting right now,” LaFleur said (via ESPN). “He made so many plays for us and not only in the pass game but in the run game, stuff that you guys probably don’t even notice that we’re not getting the yardage that we get if he’s not blocking his ass off.
“So I can live with MVS. I’ve got more confidence in him now than probably ever. I think he continues to get better each and every day. Every time we go out there, he’s providing big plays.”
And after Valdes-Scantling tweeted about the death threats, many of his teammates also tweeted their support for him, including Davante Adams and Christian Kirksey.
“Been there my dawg,” Adams tweeted. “You know we got you! We all you need.”
Valdes-Scantling isn’t alone in receiving hostile messages from so-called fans. During the NBA Finals, Danny Green said he and his fiancée received death threats after he missed what could have been the series-winning 3-pointer for the Lakers. Several Astros players, including Josh Reddick, said they received death threats following the team’s sign-stealing scandal.
And last week, after Ravens center Matt Skura struggled to cleanly snap the ball during Baltimore’s loss to the Patriots, he posted on Instagram asking fans to leave his family out of “hateful and threatening messages.”
“That’s a human being at the end of the day, that’s my teammate, that’s my brother,” quarterback Lamar Jackson said last week. “That’s just BS.”
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