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Green Bay Packers’ Marquez Valdes-Scantling says he tweeted on threats to show players ‘human, too’

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GREEN BAY, Wis. — Marquez Valdes-Scantling knows he should have protected the ball better on the second play of overtime, but the Green Bay Packers receiver doesn’t think he should have gotten threatening messages on social media after his fumble that set up the Indianapolis Colts‘ game-winning field goal on Sunday.

“Social media gives cowards the right to say whatever they want with no consequences, so I guess that’s one of those things with the profession that we’re in, you’ve got to take it for what it is, don’t let it affect you,” the third-year receiver said Monday. “It doesn’t affect me. People can say whatever they want as long as people in this building and in my family, they all care about me, that’s all that matters.”

He said he tweeted Sunday night about receiving death threats to “get people to understand that we’re humans, too, we’re not just some number on a jersey, that we’re people first.” But he said he never feared for his safety.

He had three catches for 55 yards, including a 47-yarder in the fourth quarter to set up the game-tying field goal at the end of regulation, and also drew a 51-yard pass interference penalty that set up a touchdown. A week earlier, he had six catches for 149 yards (including a 78-yard touchdown) against the Jaguars that followed a two-touchdown game against the 49ers.

He called last week the “highest point of my career” and this week “the lowest point.” Valdes-Scantling is the only player in the NFL in 2020 with three touchdown catches of 40-plus yards (45, 52, 78) and has a league-high five receptions of 40-plus yards. He also ranks second among Packers receivers in 40-plus-yard catches since 1991 with 14 (behind Greg Jennings with 17).

The flip side is that he ranks 150th in the NFL in catch percentage out of 152 eligible players and has the second-most drops in the NFL (five), according to ESPN Stats & Information.

The fumble came on a bubble screen, similar to the play that Davante Adams scored a 5-yard touchdown on in the second quarter. Valdes-Scantling and fellow receiver Allen Lazard cleared the way for Adams with blocks. On Valdes-Scantling’s fumble, however, Lazard and tight end Robert Tonyan didn’t adequately block Colts safety Julian Blackmon, who knocked the ball out.

“It was just the perfect timing where he caught me transitioning the ball from the catch to the tuck,” Valdes-Scantling said. “It was a great play by him. That’s what it boils down to. I have to be better with the ball security.”

It was the first fumble in 42 career games for Valdes-Scantling.

Packers coach Matt LaFleur said he spoke with Valdes-Scantling again Monday and told him, “It never comes down to one play.”

“He did so many good things yesterday,” LaFleur said Monday. “We wouldn’t even have been in a position to win the game without his efforts. There were so many assists. I think of the touchdown pass to Davante on the bubble screen that we threw to him. It was great blocking by both Marquez and by Allen, and again, his effort was definitely there throughout the entire game, just clearing stuff out under, for underneath receivers. There was so much good, and you know, he had one bad play. And like we say to all our guys, it never comes down to one play. There were so many factors in that game that led to the result of the game and, you know, I have more confidence in Marquez because of the game, just because all of the little things he’s been doing.”


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