The Martellus Bennett story got strange in a hurry.
To recap: The Green Bay Packers cut Bennett, saying he failed to disclose a medical condition. The New England Patriots, to the surprise of nobody, scooped up Bennett, who played for the Patriots last season. An NFL Network report said Bennett had a torn rotator cuff. However, Bennett was at practice with the Patriots on Friday. He hadn’t been practicing with the Packers the past couple weeks and hadn’t played since Week 7.
Bennett gave his side of the story on an Instagram story, with some serious allegations about Dr. Patrick McKenzie, the Packers’ team doctor. Bennett said the Packers cleared him on March 10, when he signed with them. He said the shoulder got worse during the season, specifically after a game against the Dallas Cowboys on Oct. 8. He said the pain got really bad during the Packers’ bye week when he stopped using anti-inflammatories, and he asked to get it checked out. He said he chose to have surgery on it rather than play through it.
Bennett, using an expletive about McKenzie and saying the doctor was trying to cover himself, said on Instagram that McKenzie tried to “persuade me to play thru a major injury.” He said he injured the shoulder with the Packers, not before.
“Dr. McKenzie didn’t make feel safe and was pushing to play which I thought was weird,” Bennett said. “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.”
Bennett then used another expletive to describe the Packers “failure to disclose” reason to cut him. He said it was “all about money.”
McKenzie has a good reputation, and reporters who have covered the Packers (Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com, Jason Wilde of ESPN Wisconsin and Greg Bedard of Boston Sports Journal, who used to work for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) said Friday that they couldn’t remember an instance of a player saying McKenzie pressured them to play.
Former Packers fullback John Kuhn and current Packers receiver Jordy Nelson backed up McKenzie too.
In 9 years of working with Doc McKenzie he never pressured me to play one time. In fact, I️ would argue that I️ pressured him to let me play at times.
— John Kuhn (@kuhnj30) November 10, 2017
The Packers and Bennett are likely headed toward a grievance over his contract that he signed in March. Meanwhile, Bennett is suddenly back practicing with New England and unloading on the Packers on social media. It seems like this story is far from finished.
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