Aaron Rodgers, Nick Barnett iron out issues

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (R) talks with head coach Mike McCarthy during a timeout in the first quarter at Soldier Field in Chicago on September 27, 2010. UPI/Brian Kersey

After Nick Barnett took a swipe at Aaron Rodgers via Twitter this weekend, the two have apparently kissed and made up. Kumbaya and a bonfire are set for later this week.

From ESPN.com:

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers told ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio he called linebacker Nick Barnett on Saturday to discuss his comments and Barnett’s about the team photo situation.

“I initiated the conversation. We ironed things out. I didn’t think there needed to be an apology on either side,” Rodgers said.

“I reminded him I was the one who went to the third floor and lobbied to have everyone in the team photo. I realize people are going to want to talk about this at the Super Bowl, but everything is cool.”

The problem between the two players started when Rodgers told the media that he rehabbed at the team’s complex back in 2006 when he landed on IR. Barnett was one of the injured players this year that chose to rehab on his own, so he took offense to Rodgers’ comment.

“All I wanted to be is included as a teammate nothing more,” Barnett tweeted. “Looks like it has backfired on me.. I guess That was asking too much… Sorry if I offended anyone.”

The entire situation reeked of high school, so I’m sure the Packers are glad it’s over. For Rodgers, there’s nothing like squabbling about this when he has to prepare for Dick LeBeau’s defense in less than seven days.

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Nick Barnett takes swipes at Rodgers via Twitter

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) drops back to pass as Chicago Bears defensive end Julius Peppers (90) pressures him during the fourth quarter of their NFC Championship playoff game at Soldier Field in Chicago on January 23, 2011. The Packers defeated the Bears 21-14 to advance to the Super Bowl. UPI /Mark Cowan

Injured Packers’ linebacker Nick Barnett hasn’t played since Week 4 because of a wrist injury, but he’s keeping himself relevant this week by speaking out about everything from Jay Cutler to hurt feelings over a team photo.

Now, he’s deleting his Twitter account after taking a few swipes at quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

From NFL.com:

The most recent hurt feelings came after Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was asked during a five-minute media availability Saturday if he feels for his teammates on injured reserve because they can’t take part in the run-up to the game next Sunday.

Rodgers didn’t directly address the way his injured teammates chose to express their disappointment about potentially being left out of the Super Bowl team photo. But, without naming anyone, he said Saturday that some of the team’s 16 injured players chose not to stay in town and rehabilitate.

“I’ll say this, I was on IR back in 2006 and I chose to stick around and finish out the season with my guys and be here every game. Some of those guys didn’t,” Rodgers said. “Some of the guys who were injured, they still are part of this team, but they didn’t choose to stick around.”

Barnett, who hasn’t played since Week 4 because of a wrist injury, fired back at Rodgers on Twitter.

“Looks like people have something to say about where some people choose to do there rehab,” Barnett wrote. “Try rehabbing with 16 others then 53 more. Doubt you get the full attention needed.. It’s easy to speak about others when you are not in their position.. Talk about ‘union’ ha.”

Barnett, who later erased those tweets, added: “Goodbye twitter… It was fun while it lasted.. But we need to focus on important things.

Barnett also tweeted how he was never trying to be a distraction and how he loves the city of Green Bay. He just wanted to be included as a teammate, which is certainly understandable. It must be hard to watch your team get prepared for the Super Bowl knowing that you won’t be playing thanks to an injury.

That said, he says he wasn’t trying to be a distraction but that’s exactly what he was. How childish is it to be taking swipes at your quarterback via Twitter – during the week of the Super Bowl, no less. If Barnett had a problem with what Rodgers said, he should have taken it up with the quarterback in private. Or better yet, he shouldn’t have taken anything personal and allowed his teammates to prepare for the biggest game of their lives.

Deleting his Twitter account was probably a smart idea.

Aaron Rodgers may miss Week 6, Jermichael Finley out three weeks

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is hit by Washington Redskins Brian Orakpo after throwing the ball in the second half of their NFL game in Landover, Maryland, October 10, 2010.   REUTERS/Larry Downing (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

The Packers received some bad news on Monday when it was announced that tight end Jermichael Finley would miss at least the next three weeks and could possibly be out six weeks after having surgery on his knee. Green Bay has a bye in Week 10, so that means Week 11 will likely be his return to action.

In other injury related news, head coach Mike McCarthy said that quarterback Aaron Rodgers will miss some practice time this week after suffering a concussion on the final offensive play in Green Bay’s 16-13 loss to the Redskins on Sunday. There’s a chance Rodgers could miss Week 6, although it’s too early to determine his playing status at this point.

One player who is certain to miss Week 6 is middle linebacker Nick Barnett, who will undergo wrist surgery on Wednesday. Once he has the surgery, the team will decide whether or not to place him on IR and effectively end his season.

The last bit of injury news for the Packers is that Clay Matthews hasn’t been ruled out of Week 6 after suffering a hamstring injury on Sunday. Again, the team won’t know his playing status until later in the week.

If Rodgers can’t play, Matt Flynn would start against the Dolphins on Sunday.

Injuries continue to pile up for Packers

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 10: Linebacker Nick Barnett #56 of the Green Bay Packers walks with teammates out to the field prior to the 2010 NFC wild-card playoff game against the Arizona Cardinals at the Universtity of Phoenix Stadium on January 10, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Packers 51-45 in overtime. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

In our daily chat this morning, my co-worker John Paulsen said something interesting in regards to his Packers:

“It seems like Super Bowl winners always have minor injuries throughout the year, but nothing major they can’t overcome. The Packers are getting decimated.”

I agree.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported late Wednesday night that Packers’ middle linebacker Nick Barnett would miss the rest of the season due to a Brian Urlacher-type wrist injury. And although Barnett is reportedly considering not undergoing surgery, it’s doubtful that he’ll risk further damage to the wrist.

On Thursday, the National Football Post reported that right tackle Mark Tauscher is dealing with a shoulder injury that could sideline him for a significant period of time. These injuries come on the heels of Green Bay having to place safety Morgan Burnett on injured reserve today with a torn ACL.

The good news is that GM Ted Thompson has done a nice job over the years of adding depth to the Packers’ roster. Despite spending most of his practice time at guard and left tackle, rookie first round pick Bryan Bulaga will fill in for Tauscher and should be able to hold his own. Atari Bigby will replace Morgan and 26-year-old Desmond Bishop will take Barnett’s spot in the middle.

The problem is that Bigby (hamstring) won’t be eligible to cover off the PUP list until Week 7, meaning that Derrick Martin (a special teamer) or Carlie Peprah (who is suffering from a quad injury) will have to take over until then. And even before Burnett went down, the Packers were surrendering 5.2-yards per carry, which leads the NFC.

Thanks in large part to Dom Capers’ game plans, Green Bay led the league in defense last year. But their run defense has been an issue and losing Burnett only compounds the problem. Until Bigby is eligible to come off the PUP list, the safety position is awfully thin as well.

Again, Bulaga should hold his own on the offensive line (Thompson drafted him as an eventual replacement for either Tauscher or Chad Clifton anyway), but the Packers have some big concerns on the defensive side of the ball. And as my colleague pointed out this morning, Super Bowl teams generally don’t have this many injuries to overcome – especially so early in the season.

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