Former Packers tight end Martellus Bennett, days after securing his release from the team, has slammed the organization for the handling of his shoulder injury. Bennett, among other things, took aim at Dr. Pat McKenzie, a Packers physician whom Bennett claims he didn’t trust — and whom Bennett suggests was trying to persuade him to play with a shoulder injury.
Current Packers receiver Jordy Nelson has defended Dr. McKenzie with a statement posted Friday afternoon on social media.
“In 10 years of being with the Packers organization and having multiple injuries and surgeries, I have never once felt pressured to play in a game,” Nelson said. “If anything, I have had to try and convince Dr. McKenzie and the athletic trainers to allow me to practice or play in a game. Dr. McKenzie is very cautious about putting players back on the field with an injury and always puts the player’s health before the team.”
Via USA Today, various other current and former players have defended Dr. McKenzie.
These claims carry extra weight, given that Bennett wanted to get surgery on his shoulder while playing for the Packers but now is willing to play with a torn rotator cuff in New England. It seems fairly clear that, once quarterback Aaron Rodgers suffered a broken collarbone, Bennett wanted out of Green Bay. By telling the team he planned to have surgery, Bennett got his wish. Now that he’s back with a contender who remains a viable Super Bowl contender, Bennett is willing to play.
Until Tom Brady breaks his collarbone, that is.