GREEN BAY, Wis. — Even Green Bay Packers Coach Mike McCarthy isn't quite sure how the Brett Favre unretirement saga will play out over the next few days. But he does know this much: Favre or no Favre, Aaron Rodgers is his starting quarterback.
In his season-opening news conference at Lambeau Field on Saturday, McCarthy strongly affirmed the team's commitment to Rodgers and reiterated that players and coaches spent the off-season planning to move forward after Favre retired in March.
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”Aaron Rodgers is the starting quarterback for the Green Bay Packers,“ McCarthy said. ”That's been stated over and over again. I hope we can finally understand that. That's where we are as an organization and as a head coach of the Green Bay Packers. I don't know how else to answer that question.“
Packers players are scheduled to report to training camp Sunday and will have their first practice Monday morning. McCarthy acknowledged the possibility that Favre could be there.
”Has he thought about it? I'm sure he has,“ McCarthy said. ”Has he confirmed anything? Nothing has been confirmed.“
Favre retired in March, but asked to be released from his contract earlier this month after his latest round of flip-flopping on his football future was met with lukewarm enthusiasm from McCarthy and general manager Ted Thompson.
Tampa Bay and the New York Jets are emerging as potential trade partners for the Packers, although McCarthy didn't directly address the possibility of a trade Saturday.
McCarthy acknowledged that Favre's presence could become a distraction.
”It'll be a challenge, there's no doubt about it,“ McCarthy said. ”But it's a new challenge and a new year. (It's) different than I personally have ever experienced, but it's something that I can promise you we'll have a plan for and will be dealt with directly.“
Favre still has to file for reinstatement with the league and have his request approved by Commissioner Roger Goodell.