Aaron Rodgers isn’t used to missing shots, but he could get used to missing practice.
The Packers’ reigning MVP quarterback did not show up on the first day of mandatory Green Bay minicamp Tuesday, the latest written chapter in a dispute between Rodgers and the organization this offseason.
While Rodgers has been adamant in his desire to leave Lambeau, there is no end in sight between the two sides. Some reports suggest that the gap could be bridged, but until then, it remains a gap.
Rodgers’ absence from the camp was notable: Jordan Love, the 2020 Green Bay first-round pick and heir to Rodgers, took the snapshots during the three-day camp, and his performance was less than stellar.
Jordan Love’s first punch in the 2-minute drill (which we’ve seen) barely passes midfield and ends with him dodging a pass over Malik Taylor’s open head on fourth and 7 from plus-46.
– Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) June 8, 2021
Packers head coach Matt LaFleur and other Green Bay stars weighed in on the development of the situation:
Head Coach Matt LaFleur
Speaking after team practice on June 8, the Packers coach took a slightly tougher stance on Rodgers’ absence.
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Packers HC Matt LaFleur declined to say whether Aaron Rodgers’ absence from day one of mandatory minicamp was excused or not.
As for his disappointment that Rodgers wasn’t there: “You would love for everyone to be here. It is what it is, man.”
– Olivia Reiner (@ReinerOlivia) June 8, 2021
“You would love for everyone to be here,” LaFleur said. “It is what it is, man, and we will focus and control and work with the guys that are here and try to help them become the best for their ability and train them in the best way …
“I will not get into my conversations with Aaron and communication”, LaFleur said. “I think, you know, I’m optimistic by nature. But, you know, again, we will take it day by day and do everything we can to help remedy the situation.”
Davante Adams wide receiver
Arguably, there are no greater beneficiaries of Rodgers’ talent than his wide receivers. That’s why, in a supposed solidarity move, the corps didn’t show up for voluntary workouts early in the offseason.
Adams, however, was not going to miss his paychecks heading into the season and made it known that he misses Rodgers’ presence at camp:
“I’ve backed him through everything, so he knows that at the end of the day, if he’s ever wondering if he’s lost a teammate or something to everything he’s out there, he knows where I stand.” Adams said. “I will stand on the damn mountain and scream at the top of the mountain that I have her back.”
Left tackle David Bakhtiari
Bakhtiari, one of Rodgers’ closest confidants on the Packers, also chimed in after Rodgers was absent from the minicamp opening.
Really thoughtful response from Bakhtiari when asked about the dividing line between being friends with Rodgers and wanting him back as a teammate. pic.twitter.com/AIDpx2Usd2
– Nicole Menner (@NicoleMenner) June 8, 2021
“For me, I care about Aaron Rodgers from a friend’s perspective,” Bakhtiari said. “Whatever I want to do, whatever the situation arises, I will never hold a grudge against him. That is my friend. That is someone I have appreciated, and he has done a lot for this organization and a lot for me. As an individual.
“Now, as a teammate, it would be silly to say I don’t want the MVP to come back. He’s the league MVP last year. He’s done amazing things from a quarterback perspective, our quarterback position, but no. just for the franchise.. so absolutely. “