GREEN BAY, Wis. – Aaron Rodgers said he could probably name all 16 different quarterbacks the Chicago Bears have started since he took over as the Green Bay Packers starting quarterback in 2008 but then must have realized how long it would take him.
“Counting playoffs? Yeah, I could come close probably,” Rodgers said when asked the trivia question during his press conference Wednesday. “Jay Cutler. Kyle Orton. Rex Grossman. Mitch [Trubisky]…”
And then he bailed.
“I’m giving up, I got a meeting to go to,” Rodgers said. “Can’t wrack the memory banks.”
To be fair, only seven of the 16 had actually started against Rodgers.
When Bears rookie Justin Fields starts Sunday against the Packers at Soldier Field, he will become the eighth. He’ll also become the 20th different starting quarterback the Bears have used against the Packers since 1992, when Brett Favre took over as the Packers starter. In that same time, the Packers have used only three different starting quarterbacks against the Bears: Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers and Brett Hundley.
Only one NFL team has started more quarterbacks since 2008, including playoffs, than the Bears’ 16. The Browns have started 21 different quarterbacks, while the Broncos have matched the Bears at 16.
Don’t expect Rodgers to flip sides in the rivalry even if he forces his way out of Green Bay after this season.
After he spoke at length about how much he likes Chicago — saying “I’ve always enjoyed the city, enjoyed the fans even though they haven’t enjoyed me. I get it. Maybe there’ll be a little more love when my time comes to an end playing here. But I do have a lot of respect for the city and the sports,” — he was asked if he could ever see himself playing for the Bears.
“No,” he said quickly. When pressed with a follow-up, Rodgers said: “It’s just not going to happen.”
Safe to say Rodgers won’t be adding his name to the long list of Bears starting quarterbacks anytime soon.
Sunday will mark the 203rd all-time meeting between the Packers and Bears, including playoffs, and the Packers have a series lead of 101-95-6. The six-win edge marks the largest advantage the Packers have ever owned in the series after the Packers never held a series lead from 1933 to 2016.
NFL agrees to end race-based adjustments in dementia testing used to evaluate concussion claims
PHILADELPHIA — The NFL agreed to end race-based adjustments in dementia testing that critics said made it difficult for Black retirees to qualify for awards in the $1 billion settlement of concussion claims, according to a proposed deal filed Wednesday in federal court.
The revised testing plan follows public outrage over the use of “race-norming,” a practice that came to light only after two former NFL players filed a civil rights lawsuit over it in 2019. The adjustments, critics say, may have prevented hundreds of Black players suffering from dementia to win awards that average $500,000 or more.
The Black retirees will now have the chance to have their tests rescored or, in some cases, seek a new round of cognitive testing, according to the settlement.
“No race norms or race demographic estimates — whether Black or white — shall be used in the settlement program going forward,” the settlement said.
The proposal, which must still be approved by a judge, follows months of closed-door negotiations between the NFL, class counsel for retired players, and lawyers for the Black players who filed suit, Najeh Davenport and Kevin Henry.
The vast majority of the league’s players — 70% of active players and more than 60% of living retirees — are Black. So the changes are expected to be significant, and potentially costly for the NFL.
To date, the fund has paid out $821 million for five types of brain injuries, including early and advanced dementia, Parkinson’s disease and Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as ALS.
Lawyers for the Black players suspect that white men were qualifying for awards at two or three times the rate of Black men. It’s unclear whether a racial breakdown of payouts will ever be done or made public.
Black NFL retiree Ken Jenkins and others have asked the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department to open an inquiry. The first payouts were awarded in 2017. The fund, now uncapped, is intended to last for 65 years, to cover anyone retired at the time it was first approved.
To date, about 2,000 men have applied for dementia awards, but only 30% have been approved. In some cases, the NFL appealed payouts awarded to Black men if doctors did not apply the racial adjustment. The new plan would forbid any challenges based on race.
“The NFL should be really enraged about the race norming. … That should be unacceptable to them and all of their sponsors,” Roxanne “Roxy” Gordon of San Diego, the wife of an impaired former player, said earlier this week.
Amon Gordon, a Stanford University graduate, finds himself at 40 unable to work. He has twice qualified for an advanced dementia award only to have the decision overturned for reasons that aren’t yet clear to them. His case remains on review before the federal appeals court in Philadelphia.
The NFL would admit no wrongdoing under terms of the new settlement.
The league had agreed in June, amid the uproar, to halt the use of race-norming, which assumes Black players start with lower cognitive function. That makes it harder to show they suffer from a mental deficit linked to their playing days.
The binary scoring system in dementia testing — one for Black people, one for everyone else — was developed by neurologists in the 1990s as a crude way to factor in a patient’s socioeconomic background. Experts say it was never meant to be used to determine payouts in a court settlement.
More than 20,000 NFL retirees or their relatives have registered for the settlement program, which offers monitoring, testing and, for some, compensation. The awards average $715,000 for those with advanced dementia and $523,000 for those with early dementia.
“If the new process eliminates race-norming and more people qualify, that’s great,” said Jenkins, who does not have an impairment but advocates for those who do.
“[But] we’re not going to get everything we wanted,” Jenkins, an insurance executive, said Tuesday. “We want full transparency of all the demographic information from the NFL — who’s applied, who’s been paid.”
Senior U.S. District Judge Anita B. Brody, who has overseen the settlement for about a decade, dismissed the suit filed by Davenport and Henry this year on procedural grounds. But she later ordered the lawyers who negotiated the 2013 settlement — New York plaintiffs’ lawyer Christopher Seeger for the players and Brad Karp for the NFL — to work with a mediator to address it. In the meantime, the Gordons and other NFL families wait.
“His life is ruined,” Roxy Gordon said of her husband, who spent several years in the league as a defensive tackle or defensive end. “He’s a 40-year-old educated male who can’t even use his skills. It’s been horrible.”
Tom Brady has no interest in claiming ownership of the New York Jets
Being a New York Jets fan is likely tough enough without the added sting of Tom Brady throwing shade. But alas, throw shade he did. When presented with the opportunity to lay claim to the franchise, the 44-year-old politely declined.
On the latest episode of the “Let’s Go!” podcast with Brady, Larry Fitzgerald and Jim Gray, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback spent some time reminiscing on how nice it was getting to watch Sunday’s slate of NFL games (Tampa Bay defeated the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday Night Football).
One game stuck out to TB12 in particular — the Green Bay Packers vs. the Chicago Bears. Namely, when QB Aaron Rodgers proclaimed himself the owner of the team. After extending the Packers’ lead with a rushing TD in the 4th quarter, Rodgers found a loophole to the taunting rule by directing his chirping at the fans rather than the players, yelling, “I still own you!”
“I wanted to say congrats to Aaron Rodgers. Obviously, he’s a great QB but I guess he’s now a shareholder of the Bears,” Brady quipped to Gray.
But the real zinger came at the end of the video when Gray implied that because of the seven-time Super Bowl champion’s impressive record — Brady is 30-8 against the Jets — he could claim ownership of the New York team.
— SiriusXM NFL Radio (@SiriusXMNFL) October 20, 2021
“Oh, no I’ll just take the color green. I don’t need the Jets,” TB12 said. “I’ll just own the color green, I think that’s a little bit better.”
You can take Brady out of New England, but you can’t take the New England Patriots out of Brady.
Seattle Seahawks claim QB Jacob Eason off waivers with Russell Wilson still on IR
Eason joins his hometown team to bolster its quarterback depth while Russell Wilson recovers from finger surgery. With Wilson on injured reserve, the Seahawks now have Geno Smith and Eason on their 53-man roster as well as Jake Luton and Danny Etling on their practice squad.
A fourth-round pick out of Washington in 2020, Eason appeared in one game this season, completing 2 of 5 attempts for 25 yards and an interception while replacing an injured Carson Wentz in Week 2. He didn’t see the field as a rookie. The Colts waived him after activating rookie quarterback Sam Ehlinger off injured reserve.
Eason (Lake Stevens) and Luton (Marysville) are from neighboring towns north of Seattle. According to the Seahawks’ website, they played on the same flag football team as kids before facing each other in high school and college, Eason at UW and Luton at Oregon State.
Wilson has to miss at least two more games before he can return from IR. It’s not clear if the Seahawks plan to have Eason or Luton — who has more familiarity with their system — back up Smith in the meantime.
Luton, who was signed before the season opener, was elevated from the practice squad last weekend to back up Smith in Seattle’s overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. He’s since reverted back to the practice squad and can be elevated one more time before the Seahawks would have to sign him to their 53-man roster in order to have him available to play.
The Seahawks had an open roster spot after waiving cornerback Tre Flowers last week and thus did not need to make a corresponding move to fit Eason.
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