Aaron Rodgers has weighed in on the controversy over whether players on injured reserve belong in the Green Bay Packers’ Super Bowl team picture, noting that some of the players who complained when the team initially planned to keep them out didn’t stay involved with the team after they got hurt.
Rodgers was asked today what he makes of the story (which Packers coach Mike McCarthy called a “total overreaction“), and his answer was chronicled on Twitter by Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com.
“I was on IR back in 2006,” Rodgers said. “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 guys we brought in. 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.”
That’s not to say Rodgers doesn’t want the guys on injured reserve to be in the team picture — which they will be, after the Packers changed their minds and scheduled the team picture for Friday. Rodgers made a point of saying of his injured teammates, “They’re part of this team, first and foremost.” Rodgers then added, however, “But some guys choose to rehab in other places.”
As Wilde notes, Rodgers easily could have danced around the question, and the fact that he answered the way he did, with comments clearly directed at tight end Jermichael Finley and linebacker Nick Barnett, indicates that Rodgers felt someone on the team should speak up — and that he thinks most of his teammates feel the same way he does.