Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was one of the most critical players of the NFL’s use of replacement officials, and he was glad when the lockout ended and the regular refs came back. At least, he was glad until he saw the regular refs work on Sunday.
Rodgers acknowledged on his weekly show on ESPN Radio in Milwaukee that he had a hard time swallowing the Saints fumble on Sunday that didn’t count because the regular officials wrongly ruled that Saints kickoff returner Darren Sproles was down before he lost the ball.
“It was frustrating,” Rodgers said. “The way that the reviews have gone now with them reviewing all scoring plays and turnovers as well, you would think that would just continue to encourage a late whistle because if it is ruled a turnover, and there wasn’t a whistle for down by contact, you can go back and review that upstairs and make sure it was a turnover.”
Still, even despite that big mistake, Rodgers said he was glad to see referee Jeff Triplette and his crew.
“I was obviously happy to see those guys back,” Rodgers said. “I told Jeff Triplette, ‘Hey, it’s great to have you back.’ It’s been a long process. Him and a couple of the other refs thanked me for my comments. I’m not sure which comments they’re referring to, but I did say, ‘Just so you know that doesn’t mean we’re not going to yell at you.'”
Rodgers also said he was wearing a microphone for NFL Films during the Saints game, and that microphone picked up some choice comments about the officials. But he declined to repeat those comments, saying he’d let NFL Films decide if those comments should ever become public. Whatever he said, it probably wasn’t as bad as what the Packers were saying during the last game with the replacement refs.