this Oct. 21, 2013, file photo, Minnesota Vikings wide
receiver Greg Jennings (15) runs during the second half of
an NFL football game against the New York Giants in East
Rutherford, N.J. The Vikings receiver spent seven seasons in
Green Bay before signing with the NFC North archrivals in
the offseason. Hes about to square off for the first time
against his old team when the Packers visit the Vikings on
comments from receiver Greg Jennings questioning former Packers
teammate Aaron Rodgers' leadership and whether the quarterback had
become bigger than the team? Jennings, who signed with the
archrival Minnesota Vikings in the offseason, said they were all
made in jest.
coincidence the Packers visit Minnesota on Sunday night in
Jennings' first game against his former teammates.
meant to hurt anyone's feelings," Jennings said Wednesday in
a conference call. "It was just really messing around
initially and then everyone kind of blew it a little bit out of
As if there
weren't enough story lines between the fierce NFC North rivals.
The Packers (4-2)
are back atop the division following a three-game winning streak
despite being riddled with injuries. The most serious one has been
the neck injury to tight end Jermichael Finley, who coach Mike
McCarthy said remained hospitalized Wednesday after getting hurt
in the 31-13 win last weekend over the Browns.
Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers raises his arms
celebrating a Packers touchdown agains the Cleveland Browns
during an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013, in Green
Vikings (1-5) could be going back to Christian Ponder at
quarterback after Josh Freeman reported to team headquarters this
week with concussion-like symptoms following the 23-7 loss Monday
night to the Giants.
But back to those
thinly veiled shots at Rodgers.
took it a little too far," Jennings said. "No, I was
happy there. Obviously there's things that go on throughout life
that you wish would be different. But it is what it is. You have
to roll with the punches."
repeatedly that he's moved on. As a refresher, a couple lines from
Jennings' comments to the Star Tribune in July.
I'm such a team person ... I'm going to defer to the team, to the
team, to the team. And I think when you reach a point where you're
not deferring any longer, it's no longer really about the
get me wrong, '12' is a great person ... But when you hear all
positives, all positives, all positives all the time, it's hard
for you to sit down when one of your teammates says, 'Man, come
on, you've got to hold yourself accountable for this.' It's hard
for someone to see that now because all they've heard is I'm doing
it the right way, I'm perfect."
For his part,
Rodgers is focused on his current teammates.
way my life is right now and with my job as a leader on this
football team and quarterback," Rodgers said, "I just
don't have the energy to spend time thinking about those
Not that it's
completely out of his mind. It's just not a priority.
say anything about forgetting. I just said focusing," Rodgers
said. "It's about what you should spend energy focusing on
and thinking about and worrying about."
Rodgers' top target in the quarterback's first four years as a
starter, going over the 1,000-yard mark from 2008-2010 and coming
up just short in 2011. He finished with a career-low 366 yards
last season after missing half the year with a torn lower
abdominal muscle. Jennings' 205 receptions in Green Bay are third
on the franchise's career list, behind Donald Driver (363), who
retired after last season; and Antonio Freeman (213).
Jennings, McCarthy wished his former receiver well and said it
would be fun to compete against him.
lightheartedly hoped Jennings would be held to "three catches
for three yards this week, we get the win and everybody stays
healthy." Jones, who missed the Browns game with a knee
injury, didn't officially practice Wednesday though McCarthy said
the receiver went through "some on-the-field work" as
part of his rehab.
Jennings, leaving Green Bay in part allowed the rest of the
receiving corps to grow.
"If I had
stayed, I could have been overshadowing some of those guys ... not
allowing them to flourish the way that I know that they're capable
of flourishing," Jennings said.
He hasn't reached
out to Rodgers. Jennings said he hoped that he knew that "I'm
not one of those guys that wishes ill will on anyone or tries to
stand out and be apart from the team. ... I know and you guys know
that he's a great quarterback. He's the best player in the
Packers coach Mike McCarthy says injured tight end Jermichael
Finley is making progress in recuperating from a serious neck
injury but is seeking more opinions from specialists.
in a hospital Wednesday after getting hurt in last week's 31-13
win over the Browns.
Tuesday night on Twitter a brief video of him walking down a
hospital hall accompanied by three others. His neck appeared to be
in a brace.
He was officially
ruled out for Sunday's game against the Vikings, along with
linebacker Clay Matthews (thumb).
injured Packers, running back James Starks (knee), along with
cornerback Casey Hayward and linebacker Brad Jones, each with
hamstring injuries, were full practice participants Wednesday.
Jones (knee) did not practice, but says he's feeling better each