Super Bowl XLV bound Green Bay Packers quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, broke his silence Saturday about his feelings regarding what is being called “Photogate”; specifically complaints from Green Bay’s injured reserve players Nick Barnett and Jermichael Finley about how they were almost not included in the team’s pre-Super Bowl picture. According to Jason Wilde at ESPN – Milwaukee:
Responding to a fairly innocuous question about whether he felt bad that the injured players will miss Super Bowl XLV, Rodgers took the question and spun it into an opportunity for him to share his thoughts on how some of his teammates chose not to stay in Green Bay to rehabilitate their injuries.
“Well, I’ll say this,” Rodgers said, pausing briefly before continuing. “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.”
Asked a follow-up question about whether their departures created a distance between the injured players and the rest of the team, Rodgers replied, “They’re part of this team, first and foremost. But some guys choose to rehab in other places.”
As Wilde points out, Rodgers is normally a pretty measured guy. So to take a mild question and turn it into a platform to call out some of his teammates makes it clear that he feels strongly about the issue. He wouldn’t be the first quarterback that expects his team to both work and heal together. Could this whole thing become a distraction for the Pack? Doubtful. It’s not as if the team really has to worry about how the guys on IR will perform in the big game.
[Source: Lombardi Ave]