Aaron Rodgers tweaks IR players who tweeted a storm
It looked like the Green Bay Packers had put to rest their team photo controversy that was sparked earlier in the week when prominent players on injured reserve like Nick Barnett and Jermichael Finley complained about being excluded.
The Packers had scheduled their team photo next week at Super Bowl XLV on Tuesday and the team’s 15 players on injured reserve were not scheduled to arrive until Thursday. The drama escalated until the team announced that the photo would be pushed back until Friday to include everyone.
That decision came after coach Mike McCarthy met with team captains Aaron Rodgers and Charles Woodson, who supported their teammates. Now, the quarterback has weighed in on the matter, and it’s interesting.
According to Jason Wilde of ESPN Milwaukee, Rodgers was asked today if he felt bad the injured players would not be able to play in the game. Nothing was said about the photo.
“Well, I’ll say this,” Rodgers said, “I was on IR back in 2006, and I chose to stick around and finish out the season with my guys and be here every game. Some of those guys didn’t. And so, we love them, we care about them, we don’t wish injury on anybody, but this is a group of guys that’s really come together and has been great to work with. It’s been great to work with the guys we brought in midseason, some of them, and the young guys. Some of the guys who were injured, you know, they are still part of this team, but some of them didn’t choose to stick around.
“They’re part of this team, first and foremost. But some guys choose to rehab in other places.”
Per Wilde, the most vocal players about the photo situation – Barnett and Wilde – were two players to be seen the least while they’ve been on IR.
Barnett then responded via his Twitter account, a place that he had complained about the photo situation.
“Well looks like people have something to say about where some people choose to do there rehab,” Barnett tweeted. “Try rehabbing with 16 others then 53 more.”
He continued: “Doubt you get the full attention needed.. It’s easy to speak about others when you are not in their position.. Talk about 'union' ha.”
Later, Barnett deleted those previous tweets and wrote: “Before I delete this page just wanted to say I was never trying to be a distration … I am packer have been one for 8 going on 9 years.
“Love this team this city.. All I wanted to be is included as a teammate nothing more.. Looks like it has back fired on me.. I guess.”
The Packers had hoped this issue would be dead a few days ago. It’s alive again, but like McCarthy said, if this is the biggest issue they face before playing the Pittsburgh Steelers, it won’t be a bad thing.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune