New Jersey’s Florham Park — The quarterback for the New York Jets, Aaron Rodgers, expressed his displeasure on Tuesday that “conspiracy theorists” are portraying him as self-centered for taking up a roster slot despite the fact that he is not currently participating in any games. Rodgers stated that it was not his decision to be activated from injured reserve.
During his weekly interview on “The Pat McAfee Show,” Rodgers stated that the Jets’ organization wanted him to be on the 53-man roster so that he could continue to practice with the team despite the fact that he was unable to play due to the surgical surgery of his Achilles. Rodgers stated that he would have been just fine with finishing the season on injured reserve.
In order to activate him, the Jets were forced to release another player, which was veteran fullback Nick Bawden. Bawden eventually rejoined the team on the practice squad because of his activation.
On December 19, Rodgers made the announcement that his attempt to make a comeback in 2023 had been unsuccessful. “I assumed I was going to go on IR,” he stated. “At that time, there was a conversation that inquired, ‘Do you want to practice?’ I had asked to be placed on inactive reserve. My statement was not made at the expense of someone being eliminated. I am aware of how this happens.
In order to continue my rehabilitation, I did not believe that I needed to practice. On the side, I could perform things that were related to the field, but obviously, I was disregarded in that regard. The situation is exactly as it is. Undoubtedly, this was a fascinating circumstance.
The 21-day practice window for Rodgers came to an end on December 20. At that moment, the Jets were faced with a choice: either they could leave him on injured reserve (where he would not be able to practice) or they could activate him to the roster. They took a risky approach by adding him to the roster, despite the fact that they were aware that there was no possibility that he would participate in any of the games.
“I called Nick right away,” Rodgers recalled. “I was very excited.” “Hey, I just wanted to mention that I hope you are aware that this is not coming from me. I made a request to be placed on indefinite leave. ‘Hey, look, I’m vested,’ he would genuinely say. My money is on its way to me. I am doing well.'”
Because he was on the roster for the first day of the season, Bawden’s compensation of $1.1 million is guaranteed because he is a veteran with vested rights. Following his clearance through the waiver process, he was added to the practice squad and then raised for the game against the Washington Commanders that took place last Sunday. Despite the fact that he did not participate due to a knee injury, this was yet another uncommon move. Monday marked the day that he returned to the practice squad.
In essence, Bawden moved about the transaction wire in order to provide Rodgers with the opportunity to rehearse. In the end, the man that was eliminated off the roster was cornerback Kalon Barnes. Barnes was removed from the practice squad of sixteen players in order to create way for Bawden.
During an interview with ESPN, Bawden stated, “Everyone says it’s a business, and yeah, he did call me.” “It was not shocking since Aaron is the kind of man who would do something like that. Every day, I see him, and he is full of love and full of being a great leader. I am always impressed by him. Therefore, it did not come as a surprise to me, and we believe that we had a pretty nice chat due to the fact that we were able to hear what he had to say.
Rodgers, who is forty years old, made the statement that certain individuals have perpetrated “conspiracies” and “the same, tired narrative” because they do not agree with his position regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. However, he did not name any specific individuals. In his statement, he stated that they are still furious with him because he “didn’t bow down to the medical industrial complex and the mass formation psychosis” while he was making decisions regarding his health.
The comments made by Rodgers were corroborated by the head coach, Robert Saleh, on Tuesday. Saleh stated that he and general manager Joe Douglas were the ones who made the choice to activate the quarterback.
“[Rodgers] expressed concern about taking up someone’s roster spot and all that stuff, and what it meant,” according to Saleh. “However, as I mentioned to you all, we had the ability to maintain roster flexibility, exactly as we had informed him, and we were able to get it done. As a result, we did it.
Rodgers was able to run the offense for the scout team during an 11-on-11 time last Friday, which Saleh mentioned as a reason why it is beneficial to have Rodgers on the practice field. It has just been one or two days per week that he has been practicing.
Additionally, the Jets have announced that quarterback Zach Wilson will not play for the second consecutive game due to a concussion. This means that Trevor Siemian will be the starting quarterback for the Jets’ next game against the Cleveland Browns on Thursday night. During the victory over the Commanders that took place on Sunday, Siemian threw for 217 yards, achieved one touchdown, and threw one interception.