If you are a Green Bay Packers fan waking up on Christmas Eve, other teams around the NFL are trying to give you a lump of coal.
According to a report from Adam Schefter of ESPN, multiple NFL teams have complained to the league about the handling of Aaron Rodgers' injury. The complaints center around the Packers returning the quarterback to injured reserve this week after playing against the Carolina Panthers last Sunday. As for the penalty that the teams want applied to the Packers? They apparently want the league to force the Packers to release Rodgers.
Merry Christmas, everyone.
The justification for this revolves around the injury settlement system, as teams are required to release a player who is on IR once he is healthy if the injury does not keep him out at least six weeks. However, teams across the league routinely free up roster spots near the end of the season by placing players on IR with injuries that might not keep the player out a full six weeks but that would hold them out at least through the end of the season. An important note in the ESPN story is that a source stated that Rodgers would not have been cleared to play against the Vikings even if the team were still in the playoff hunt. Therefore, the Packers will surely use the aforementioned precedent to defend their decision.
Furthermore, as former Packers executive Andrew Brandt notes, the NFl office approves injured reserve transactions anyway:
Players aren’t placed on IR unilaterally. League has to accept/approve transaction. #AaronRodgers— Andrew Brandt (@AndrewBrandt) December 24, 2017
This writer estimates the odds that Rodgers will be released are approximately zero. But keep an eye on this situation just in case.