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Packers' rift grows with QB's comment

GREEN BAY, Wis. — This time, it's a comment — not a tweet — that has created a fissure as the Packers prepare for the Super Bowl.

And it's deep enough that one of their most vocal Twitter users vowed to quit using it.

Injured LB Nick Barnett said Saturday that he's ending his account at the social media site after the uproar over Green Bay's team photo.

Barnett and TE Jermichael Finley took to Twitter last week to complain they weren't going to be in the photo because it was scheduled to be taken Tuesday, two days before injured players are to arrive.

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers and fellow team captain CB Charles Woodson brought the issue to the attention of coach Mike McCarthy, and the photo was rescheduled for Friday.

Saturday, Rodgers was asked if he feels for his teammates on injured reserve because they can't take part in the run-up to the game. Rodgers made a point of saying that when he spent time on season-ending injured reserve in 2006, he stayed in Green Bay to finish the season instead of going home to California.

He didn't mention anyone by name but said some of Green Bay's 16 players on injured reserve chose not to rehab locally.

"I chose to stick around and finish out the season with my guys and be here every game. Some of those guys didn't," Rodgers said. "We love them. We care about them. We don't wish injury on anybody. But this is a group of guys that's really come together, and it's been great to work with the guys we've brought in midseason … and the young guys.

"Some of the guys who were injured, they still are part of this team. But some of them didn't choose to stick around."

Rodgers also was asked if he'd feel closer to the injured players if they had stayed in Green Bay.

"Well, they're part of this team, first and foremost," he said. "But some guys choose to do their rehab in other places."

The comments irked Barnett, who posted on Twitter that he plans to delete his account.

"All I wanted to be is included as a teammate, nothing more," he tweeted. "Looks like it has backfired on me. I guess that was asking too much. Sorry if I offended anyone."

Pouncey update: Steelers C Maurkice Pouncey now is wearing a protective boot on his left ankle instead of the hard cast he wore since last week. Officially, the Steelers say the rookie and first-round pick from Florida sustained a high ankle sprain during the AFC title game. But the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported he has a broken bone. He has not been declared out for the game and is listed as questionable.

Packers injury: Only starting LB Erik Walden, who sprained his ankle during the NFC title game, didn't practice. But he still is expected to be ready.

Other NFL news: Ravens QB Joe Flacco is angry over the firing of quarterbacks coach Jim Zorn. Zorn was fired after one season, coach John Harbaugh saying he wanted to expand the role of offensive coordinator Cam Cameron. "Usually, when you fire a position coach, it's because you're not really happy with how that position did," Flacco said. "I don't think it was a good decision. I'm disappointed, and they know I'm disappointed."

Packers' rift grows with QB's comment 01/29/11 [Last modified: Saturday, January 29, 2011 9:21pm]
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