Nearly one full year ago today, Za’Darius Smith wasn’t named a captain for the Green Bay Packers. The events that ensued were strange… to say the least. A lingering back issue that never seem to get healthy until he was released. Voiced frustration from Smith himself about not being named captain. That frustration was something that Matt LaFleur was even asked about during an interview.
Smith was named a Pro Bowler in 2020, and was a captain last season as well. However, he spent most of training camp recovering from an injury, which could very well keep him out Week 1 against the New Orleans Saints.
This, LaFleur says, is what kept Smith from being named captain. “He’s still a leader on this football team,” LaFleur said. “I think sometimes when you’re going through everything that he’s gone through throughout training camp and the preseason, and you’re not around the guys quite as much, sometimes that is a byproduct of that.”
Smith voiced his frustration on Twitter Thursday, with a vague tweet that clearly symbolized his unhappy nature.
Fast forward to present day, Za’Darius Smith has signed with the Minnesota Vikings. His captain days, however, are still behind him for now:
According to Kevin O'Connell, 20 Vikings players received captain votes last week. Here are the winners:
Offense: Kirk Cousins, Dalvin Cook, Brian O'Neill, Adam Thielen
Defense: Eric Kendricks, Harrison Smith, Patrick Peterson
Special teams: C.J. Ham
— Kevin Seifert (@SeifertESPN) September 5, 2022
Packers fans react to the news:
I can hear Z Smith's back twinge and strain from here https://t.co/E7Q1ZMGimf
— Mike (@DMRees2011) September 6, 2022
Uh oh Z gonna be a bear next year https://t.co/G7LOYT0cZG
— bro-loko89 -nflownergbp-pray for the Mets (@bro_loco89) September 6, 2022
Might as well as put Za’Darius Smith on the inactive list… https://t.co/5xeb1Ef5XD
— Chris Buboltz (@ChrisBuboltz) September 6, 2022
Za'Darius hurt his back https://t.co/MHZnGG2bcJ
— Robin Adams (@theotherRobin19) September 6, 2022
it is pretty safe to say that Packers fans haven’t forgot what Smith pulled last year. They were sure to let him have it on social media. The above examples aren’t even close to all of them. The story lines for week one continue to get deeper and deeper.
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