- Covered Packers for Green Bay Press-Gazette from 1997-2013
- Two-time Wisconsin Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association
GREEN BAY, Wis. — Don’t be surprised if Aaron Rodgers gets to sleep in his own bed the night before games at Lambeau Field now.
For years, the Green Bay Packers quarterback has railed on the practice of NFL teams staying in hotels the night before home games. After he woke up Sunday with a stiff back just hours before the game against the Washington Football Team, Rodgers called the practice an “antiquated procedural thing in our league” and credited two members of the team’s medical staff for helping cure his back.
“I do have to give a big shout-out to [athletic trainer] Nate Weir and [chiropractor] Mike Zoelle; I woke up this morning and my back was killing me,” Rodgers said after Sunday’s 24-10 win. “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.”
When asked to elaborate, Rodgers said, “My back was a little stiff Saturday, and 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’m sleeping 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.”
It couldn’t have been that bad given that coach Matt LaFleur said he knew nothing about it until it came up during his postgame news conference.
“First I heard of it right there, so I don’t know,” LaFleur said.
It did not seem to hinder Rodgers’ performance. He completed 27 of 35 passes for 274 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions in the Packers’ sixth straight win after their season-opening loss to the New Orleans Saints. He even had the Packers’ longest run of the game — a 15-yard scamper to convert a third-and-11 on the opening drive that ended with Rodgers’ scrambling 17-yard touchdown pass to Davante Adams.
Would LaFleur actually let Rodgers sleep in his own bed before home games?
“Well, Coach Rodgers and I will have a discussion after this, I’m sure,” he said with a smile. “We’ll talk about that in-house.”
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