After ticking off fans during the season with the National Anthem antics, the Green Bay Packers are under fire for being slippery about a rule that might kick quarterback Aaron Rodgers off the team.
So far, several teams have reportedly called up the NFL’s league office to complain that the Packers had violated a rule governing injured reserve players, and that the violation should result in the disqualification of Rodgers. According to NFL rules, a player must have “suffered a new injury that would sideline him at least six weeks” before being eligible to be placed on injured reserve status. And if those conditions aren’t men, then the team must release the player once he is healthy enough to play.
Rodgers was injured on October 15th in a match against the Minnesota Vikings, and returned back to play last week against the Carolina Panthers. In a post-game interview, Rodgers said that he felt “sore.” At 34, nobody can blame him for being sore after being beat up in a professional sport for a few hours. But, the Packers put him back on injured reserve (IR). But, since this was not due to a new injury — likely he just aggravated an old injury — he should technically be released.
It’s a very finicky issue, but other teams seem to be desperate to find any way to remove Rodgers from playing with the Packers again. Rodgers is currently a few years into a $110 million deal, struck in 2013, to continue to play with the Packers and has one of the highest touchdown-to-interception ratios in the NFL.
Being forced to release Rodgers would cause a major financial headache for the team due to team salary caps.
So far, social media has touched on the conspiracy theory that Rodgers wants to be let go from his team.
Aaron Rodgers calling the league office like:
"The Packers violated the rules when the placed me — uh, I mean Aaron Rodgers on IR. I should — HE…he should be released when healthy! Do the right thing…thanks, bye." https://t.co/s4Q5KJLEym
— Tina (@Tina4for4_) December 24, 2017
In September, Packers fans shouted down the “display of unity” the team showed with the Chicago Bears during the height of the National Anthem protests. The team decided to link arms with the Bears during the anthem, but fans in the stands shouted U-S-A. Nobody on either side sat, or kneeled. When questioned, Rodgers said that the Packers had accepted an invitation to link arms with the Bears and that “it’s a free country so they can choose to do it or not… it’s never been about the national anthem, it’s never been about the military… this is about something bigger.” Rodgers went on to blame “divisiveness” in the country as the reason to link arms.