On Wednesday, tight end Martellus Bennett was waived by the Green Bay Packers. On Thursday, he was claimed by his previous team, the New England Patriots.
On Friday, things got weird.
Bennett lashed out at the Packers and their medical staff in a profane Instagram story post, disputing the notion that they let him go under the “failure to disclose a physical condition” designation due to a shoulder injury. That injury, it was reported earlier Friday, is a torn rotator cuff and labrum, yet Bennett participated in practice with the Patriots on Friday, an indication that he passed a physical with them. New England listed Bennett as questionable for its game in Denver against the Broncos on Sunday night.
The full text of Bennett’s story is as follows.
“The Packers examined my shoulder March 10 and cleared it. They even gave me an xray as well. It got worse during the season, specifically against the cowboys so I asked to have it checked and we checked it. After a few days of contemplating to play with it or get surgery, I chose surgery. Now here we are . . .
They tried to f— over me. Dr. McKenzie trying to cover his own a–. After trying to persuade me to play thru a major injury and me choosing to get surgery.
They have access to all my medical records. My shoulder wasn’t where it is now at the beginning of the season. I f—ed it up playing for the @packers.
Dr. McKenizie didn’t make feel safe and was pushing to play which I thought was weird. Not that he was trying to get me to play thru it but the way he was saying things. I didn’t trust him. So I got 3 other opinions from doctors who all said I need to get it fixed. So I decided to do that. And they decided to waive me with some b——t excuse. Failure disclose.
Every week we do a body evaluation sheet in the weight and pretty much every week I circled my shoulder. I just kept playing but it got worse.
During the bye week I got off anti inflammatories to clean my system and could really feel the pain. So I asked to examine it first day back in. And that’s when we found out it was really f—ed up.
They panicked. Thinking that I was trying to go on IR and be on their books next year. When I mentioned that I would possibly retire. So they tried to f— me before they thought I would f— them. This was all about money.
All about money. I get it. But don’t lie homie. You knew wtf was up.
I had intentions of playing all 8 games as I mentioned in the post during the bye week, but found out it was worse than I felt after getting it checked out.
Now I’m like f— it.
I chose my health over the ‘team’. They chose money over me.”
Bennett, who signed a three-year, $21 million deal with the Packers last offseason on the heels of winning Super Bowl LI with the Patriots, played in seven games for Green Bay, catching 24 passes for 233 yards with no touchdowns. He first appeared on the injury report following the Packers’ Week 8 bye, then missed their Monday night loss to the Detroit Lions this past week.
Per ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, Packers Coach Mike McCarthy briefly discussed Bennett’s release Friday, but the team has yet to respond in any official capacity to Bennett’s Instagram story.
“I’m not going to get into the Patriots claiming Marty. I’ll just reiterate what I said yesterday: I just know what the facts are and how the timeline came about. I talked to him Tuesday [following the bye week] after practice and he [had] a shoulder concern injury. I advised him to get the second opinions. He did that and he went to a number of them. The last medical conversation I was involved with in regards to Marty, they were talking about scheduling surgery. After that, then you have the termination and then the claim. I really don’t have any comments on that. I’ve answered the question for the last time, respectfully.”
Despite the Packers not making any kind of public response to Bennett, some Packers, both past and present, have, perhaps none more noteworthy than longtime Green Bay wide receiver Jordy Nelson, who staunchly defended team doctor Pat McKenzie.
The Packers have been without quarterback Aaron Rodgers since he went down with a season-ending collarbone injury that required surgery in a Week 6 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. Green Bay is 0-3 — including that loss in Minnesota — over that stretch, falling to 4-4 overall.
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