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Aaron Rodgers Misses Mandatory Practice With ‘Unexcused’ Absence, Jets Coach Responds

Aaron Rodgers Misses Mandatory Practice With ‘Unexcused’ Absence, Coach Responds
Aaron Rodgers. Aubrey Lao /Getty Images

Aaron Rodgers didn’t have a valid excuse for missing mandatory minicamp practice, according to the New York Jets’ head coach, Robert Saleh.

“Aaron and I spoke before OTAs [organized team activities] started,” Saleh, 45, told reporters on Wednesday, June 12, per CNN. “He’s been very good in communication — he’s been here the entire time.”

The coach added, “It’s unexcused, but he had an event that was very important to him, which he communicated.”

Rodgers, 40, could face a $16,953 loss for missing practice, given that the NFL fines players who miss the first day of minicamp without an excused absence. Should he have missed a second day, he would be looking at a $33,908 fine.

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The quarterback, who was traded to the Jets in 2023 after more than a decade playing for the Green Bay Packers, appeared in just one game last year after suffering an achilles injury in the first quarter of the season opener. Rodgers later addressed the injury via Instagram, sharing with fans he was “completely heartbroken” to be out for the season but “humbled” by all the support.

He shifted his focus to offseason workouts, telling reporters at the time, “These practices have been nice the last couple of days. Feel what it’s like to be out there, to be moving around, to not be thinking about it and see how I respond the next day. This is the last part.”

Aaron Rodgers Misses Mandatory Practice With ‘Unexcused’ Absence, Coach Responds
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Rodgers isn’t just making headlines for his absence on the football field. He recently revealed that he turned down Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s offer to be his potential vice president. Speaking at a Jets press conference on May 21, Rodgers said he was on Kennedy’s shortlist of potential running mates before taking himself out of the running.

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“I love Bobby,” Rodgers said. “We had a couple of really nice conversations. But there were really two options — retire and be his VP or keep playing. And I wanna keep playing.”

Kennedy is expected to run as an independent candidate this fall, presenting himself as an alternative to current President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump. Polling, however, has him running a distant third behind the two major party nominees.

Rodgers has said he plans to vote for Kennedy, and the two align on several issues, including vaccinations. The QB was perhaps the most prominent athlete in the United States to refuse a COVID-19 vaccination and has repeatedly come under fire for allegedly spreading misinformation about COVID vaccines.

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