Leonard Williams got off to a hot start, but he was forced to watch a majority of the New York Jets Sunday thriller from the locker room.
In the late stages of the first half against the Green Bay Packers, Williams engaged in extracurriculars with Packers tackle Bryan Bulaga. In their post-whistle antics, Williams threw a punch at the Green Bay lineman, drawing an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and an ejection.
Speaking with reporters after the game, Williams was apologetic, taking full blame for the incident.
“There (are) no excuses for what I did. I just overreacted,” he said. “That’s the best thing that I can say. There was a little bit of extra touching and stuff like that after the play. I just overreacted.”
Williams missed out on a Sunday afternoon thriller, one that could’ve used some extra pressure on Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The Jets led 21-7 at the time of Williams’ early departure. On the very next play, Packers running back Jamaal Williams scored from seven yards out to narrow the deficit to 21-14. New York (4-11) would extend their lead further in the second half, getting as high as 35-20, but typical Rodgers antics in the fourth quarter sent the game into overtime.
After erasing the two-possession score, Rodgers guided Green Bay to a win in overtime, as his 16-yard scoring throw to Davante Adams capped off a 44-38 final.
Williams remorsefully stated he could have helped make Rodgers uncomfortable.
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“I wish I could’ve been there for my teammates, especially in this good game,” he said. “They went into overtime and everything. I wish that I could have been out there on the field when it was crunch time to help. There are no excuses for what I did.”
Prior to his ejection, Williams earned two tackles, including one sack, his fourth of the season.
“There’s nothing I could do but watch,” he said. “I’ve never missed a game since I’ve been here. I’m always taking snaps, I’m always on the field, and, like I said, it’s uncharacteristic of me. I’m not a dirty player.”
Jets head coach Todd Bowles made his displeasure with officiating known during his postgame press conference. He did, however, express no objections to Williams’ forced exit.
“He threw a punch. He should’ve been ejected.”
Bowles said he had not gotten a chance to speak with Williams about the play.
The Jets (4-11) will conclude their season next weekend, taking on the New England Patriots on the road (1:00 p.m. ET, CBS).