Washington Redskins wide receiver Josh Morgan accepted responsibility for taking his team out of range of a manageable fourth-down conversion or reasonable field goal attempt with his unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in the closing minutes of the 31-28 loss to the Rams.
With his team facing third-and-8 at the St. Louis 36-yard-line, Morgan made a catch and picked up seven yards before being tackled at the 29.
Immediately after drawing a rough tackle from cornerback Cortland Finnegan, who appeared to pop Morgan in the chin, the wide receiver jumped up and threw the ball at Finnegan. A flag immediately was thrown, and the ball was backed up to the 44-yard line. Billy Cundiff attempted a 62-yard field goal that fell well short of the uprights, and with 1:13 left, the Rams knelt twice to run out the clock and clinch the victory.
“I should’ve just kept my calm. We were driving. I should’ve kept my calm,” Morgan said.
The skirmish certainly wasn’t the first of the game. From the early going on, Rams and Redskins players mixed it up after plays and often had to be separated from each other by officials.
But until Morgan’s penalty, only one other unsportsmanlike conduct penalty had been called.
As soon as he threw the ball, Morgan said he knew he had made a mistake.
“[I thought], ‘Oh, they called that one?’ But they called it,” he said. “Second man gets caught. Coach has been telling me this all week. I should’ve just kept my cool.”
Multiple Redskins players said that Morgan wasn’t to blame for the loss.
“In reference to that, one guy doesn’t win or lose the game for you,” quarterback Robert Griffin III said. “Josh will learn that. … That’s just something he can’t do, and he knows that. He’ll learn from it and move forward from there. It is what it is now.”