Aaron Rodgers set the records straight on the decision of the New York Jets to activate him despite not playing. Many are lashing out at the 4-time Super Bowl MVP for taking up a roster spot despite uncertainty on whether he can return this NFL season.
Rodgers aired his side on The Pat McAfee Show, explaining that it was not his decision to be activated from the injured reserve.
“I assumed I was going to go on IR. I asked to be put on IR, but then there was a conversation, ‘Do you want to practice?’ I said not at the expense of somebody getting cut. I know how this works. I didn’t feel like I needed to practice to continue my rehab. I could do on-the-field stuff on the side, but, obviously, I got overruled there. It is what it is. This was an interesting situation,” the 40-year-old play-caller explained.
"I asked to be put on IR because I didn't wanna practice at the expense of somebody getting cut..
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) December 26, 2023
The Jets had until December 20 to decide on Aaron Rodgers. To the surprise of critics, New York activated him while acknowledging that there was little to no chance that Rodgers may play in a game this season.
Aaron Rodgers reaches out to Nick Bawden
As a result of that decision, the Jets had to release a player because of the unconventional Aaron Rodgers activation move. That player was fullback Nick Bawden.
“I called Nick right away,” Rodgers shared via ESPN. “I just said, ‘Hey, I hope you know this isn’t coming from me. I asked to be put on IR.’ He actually said, ‘Hey, look, I’m vested. I’m getting my money. I’m fine.'”
Bawden was picked up by the Jets for the team’s practice squad. This resulted in another player losing his job, Kalon Barnes. He was cut from the 16-member practice squad to make room for Bawden.
“It wasn’t surprising because that’s the kind of guy Aaron is. I see him every day and he’s full of love and full of being a great leader. So, it didn’t surprise me, and we think we had a really good conversation, just being able to hear what he had to say,” Bawden said.