By all indications, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has done a great job of replacing the legend who has become locally loathed. In his second season as a starter, Rodgers led the team to the playoffs behind the “Baby Swiss” offensive line, and he qualified for the Pro Bowl.
So the future is bright, post Brett.
Rodgers is behaving a little bit like the guy who’s job he filled in more ways than one. Specifically, Rodgers is running his mouth about injuries that weren’t reported as fully as they apparently should have been.
In a recent interview with WTMJ radio, via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Rodgers talked about his physical condition during the 2009 campaign: “I didn’t make a big deal about this but I had some pretty substantial foot injuries throughout the season, sprained both feet at different times in the year.” He also said he had a left shoulder injury, and that his body didn’t begin feeling good until a month after the season ended.
Though Rodgers was listed as probable in Week Seven and Week Eight with a “foot” injury and probable in Week Nine and Week Ten with “feet” injuries, he never appeared on any other injury report due to a foot problem. And four weeks as “probable” is a far cry from having “pretty substantial foot injuries throughout the season,” which didn’t heal until a month after the season ended.
Moreover, Rodgers never appeared on the injury report as having a shoulder injury. Not once. (In Week Thirteen, he was listed as probable with “ribs.”)
Typically, the NFL doesn’t discipline a team when news of a hidden injury comes out after the book has closed on the season in which the injury was hidden — unless the guy with the hidden injury keeps talking and talking and talking and talking about it.
That’s precisely what happened last year to the Jets, after Rodgers’ predecessor in Green Bay had talked and talked and talked and talked (and talked) about his biceps tendon injuries in late 2008. Because Brett Favre wouldn’t pipe down, the NFL eventually was forced to fine the Jets, G.M. Mike Tannenbaum, and former head coach Eric Mangini.
So if Rodgers really wants to be like Brett Favre, Rodgers will keep talking and talking and talking and talking about his injuries.