At the end of his post-game press conference. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers made an impromptu, post-hoc amendment to the team’s official injury report.
He had a back issue on Sunday morning, which required immediate treatment on Sunday morning to allow him to play.
“I do have to give a big shout out to [Packers Coordinator of Rehabilitation] Nate Weir and [Packers Chiropractor] Mike Zoelle,” Rodgers said. “I woke up this morning and my back was killing me, it was all locked up. And I came in here early, and I’m thankful for those guys taking care of me in order to go out and play today.”
So what happened?
“My back was a little stiff Saturday,” Rodgers said. “Maybe you guys know this or don’t know this, but there’s an antiquated procedural thing in our league where the most important night of sleep we stay at a hotel. And I don’t want to blame it on the hotel, it’s a nice hotel. But my bed at the house that I sleep in every other night of my time here in Green Bay would probably be a little bit of a better option, I think. And that’s just my opinion.”
Most teams (except the really cheap ones) mandate a hotel stay the night before a home game. It keeps players who may be tempted to not actually sleep from going out, possibly all night long.
That’s how players can end up, as former Bengals quarterback Jon Kitna once observed of a teammate, “drunk in the huddle.” Thus, while some players (like Rodgers) can be trusted to be responsible if allowed to stay at home, some of the younger guys may not get the rest they need on the week’s “most important night of sleep.”
Not that a lack of sleep or sobriety matter to Packers receiver Max McGee in the first Super Bowl ever played.