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Packers' secrecy borders on absurd

Nov 05, 2013 -- 5:40am


What did the Packers gain by hiding information on Aaron Rodgers' injury?

By DREW OLSON
dolson@espnwisconsin.com

The Packers are supposed to be different.

They embrace their "smallest market in pro sports" status. The love affair between them and their intensely loyal fans/owners has been documented to death. They do a fantastic job -- by current NFL standards, at least -- of avoiding sordid, police-blotter headlines.

When it comes to injuries, though... Come on.

Hours after the team's best player, quarterback Aaron Rodgers, jogged off Lambeau Field with what the team described as a left shoulder injury -- and some media outlets reported was a broken left collarbone -- Packers coach Mike McCarthy stepped to the podium and told the media -- and by extenstion the fans/owners the team claims to care so much about -- that he did not know the extent of the injury, did not have even a preliminary diagnosis, hadn't spoken to Rodgers, had no idea who his starting quarterback would be Sunday against Philadelphia and really had nothing else to add.

Given the way the Packers -- and all NFL teams -- act when it comes to injuries, McCarthy's approach wasn't surprising.

But, it was ridiculous.

The Packers have an experienced and talented medical staff. They often refer team doctor Patrick McKenzie and athletic trainer Pepper Burruss as the best in the industry. Although it's probable that they were waiting for a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exam -- generally hard to conduct in evening/off hours -- to confrm what they already knew, the notion that they didn't know the extent of Rodgers' injury -- and have a pretty firm idea how long they will be without a player considered by many to be the best in the league -- is absurd.

But, they had no qualms about McCarthy stepping to the podium and basically lying to the fans they claim to care so much about.

The Packers had a pretty good idea what was wrong with Jermichael Finley when he was carted off the field couple weeks ago, too. But, that case was a tad different because it involved a bruised spinal cord.

Rodgers had a more run-of-the-mill sports injury. There is no way the Packers are gaining any competitive advantage against their upcoming opponents by withholding information on Rodgers for 12 to 15 hours. All they do is make their fans nervous and foster rampant media speculation.

Where is the harm in saying "We think he may have a hairline fracture in his collarbone, but we won't know until we see the MRI?"

Pretending that you don't know is lying to your fans. That's never a good policy.

 

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