Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers blasts Colts fans for booing Andrew Luck over retirement

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers blasts Colts fans for booing Andrew Luck over retirement

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Andrew Luck acknowledged during his impromptu retirement news conference Saturday night that he was hurt by some Colts fans booing him as he walked off the field.

GREEN BAY — Aaron Rodgers has been unexpectedly booed himself by his home “fans.”

That was in 2008, during that bizarre summer when Brett Favre unretired, showed up at the Family Night Scrimmage and Green Bay Packers fans booed Favre’s eventual successor.

But as bad as that felt, Rodgers was even more bothered by the way some Indianapolis Colts fans reacted Saturday night to the news that their four-time Pro Bowl quarterback, Andrew Luck, was unexpectedly retiring. With the news breaking during the Colts’ preseason game at Lucas Oil Stadium, some fans booed the injured Luck as he left the field.

“I thought it was pretty disgusting,” Rodgers said Monday. “He’s making a really tough decision. And then before that, he makes the decision, I don’t know why that doesn’t stay in house to protect him a little bit. When I think about it, I thought it would’ve been more of a standing-ovation type thing and a thank-you than boos.”

The 35-year-old Rodgers called the 29-year-old Luck’s decision “very selfless, not selfish,” and pointed out that Luck could have potentially gone on season-ending injured reserve and collected his $9.125 million base salary.

“If he’s not going to play this season, he could have played this season and sat on IR and taken the paycheck,” Rodgers said.

“I 100 percent respect him immensely for his decision. I salute him for choosing quality of life. He’s a fantastic player, he had a great career and he’s got a lot to be proud of. Like many of us in this locker room, if not all of us, we all have interests outside of football. Andrew is an extremely bright guy, and I’m sure he’ll have a lot of things to transition into.

“I know what it’s like to deal with rehab and going through injuries. I’ve been on IR twice. It’s tough. He was on it pretty much for an entire season and next offseason trying to get his arm back. Again, in my opinion, not playing with him but just reading what his teammates said, tough guy. What he went through to get himself back on the field is what it means to be a leader. And I’m excited for him.”

Rodgers has repeatedly said he’d like to play into his 40s, but he admitted that injuries can take their toll on a player — and more that just physically. A fractured left collarbone in 2013, a shattered right collarbone in 2017, and a broken leg (which he played through) last season all were difficult for Rodgers to overcome, so he could see why Luck has been so worn down by his many injuries, including a shoulder injury that cost him the 2017 season and the calf/ankle injury that has been plaguing him recently.

“I’m sure when you’re going through stuff where you’re not sure if you’re ever going to play again — like Andrew did, like (Washington Redskins quarterback) Alex Smith might be dealing with right now — I’m sure there’s some tough days because, at some point, you start thinking about your post-career life and ability to move and function,” Rodgers said.

“A lot of guys over the years have had to end their careers because of injuries — (including) two of my favorite quarterbacks growing up, Steve Young and Troy Aikman. Those are tough decisions, but I think they’re decisions in the interest of your life at 40 and 50 and 60, hopefully.

“Again, I give (Luck) a lot of credit for making that tough decision, and I think he did it with enough time and lets them move forward with Jacoby (Brissett) and figure out what they want to do with their roster.”

Gary returns

After what looked like what might have been a serious neck injury during last week’s preseason loss to the Oakland Raiders, rookie first-round draft pick Rashan Gary was back practicing Monday and said he’s no worse for wear.

In fact, the outside linebacker insisted after practice that there was “no injury” and that he was lobbying to get back into the game but the team wouldn’t let him — although he hadn’t practiced on Sunday when the team returned to the field.

“Just being precautionary,” Gary said. “You see I’m out there today flying around, having fun. I’m back at it.”

Extra points

Ex-Packers safety Josh Jones went through waivers unclaimed and is now eligible to sign with any team. … The Packers kept adding to their roster, signing cornerback Jackson Porter. Porter went undrafted out of Massachusetts in 2018 and spent training camp with the Baltimore Ravens last year. He’d been out of the league until signing with the Packers Monday. … The Packers waived injured safety Mike Tyson. … Left tackle David Bakhtiari, who didn’t practice on Sunday, was back in the lineup. … While Bakhtiari returned, starting center Corey Linsley didn’t practice. While he didn’t disclose his injury, he said he would not miss the Sept. 5 opener at Chicago. “No doubt about it. We’re just being safe, precautionary stuff, and being smart about it,” he said. “Still getting ready for Week 1.”


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