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Anthony Barr: I never meant to injure Aaron Rodgers

Anthony Barr wishes it didn't happen.

Talking with reporters Friday, the Vikings linebacker made it clear that he never planned to hurt Aaron Rodgers in Sunday's season-altering win over the Packers.

"By no means was I trying to injure or take out Aaron Rodgers," Barr said of Green Bay's star quarterback, who could potentially miss the entire season after breaking his collarbone on the play.

"He's one of the best players in this league. I'm not a dirty player ... we don't preach that around here," Barr said, per the team's official website.

"It's unfortunate, I hate to see anybody get hurt. I know how hard he works each week to prepare to be able to play. It's a gift and a privilege to be able to play on the field each week, so I would never try and take that away from anybody, let alone one of the best players in our game," Barr said. "I think it's a dirty play in some people's eye because of the injury. I think if he gets up, then we're not having this conversation."

The conversation now is about a vastly altered NFC North, which suddenly favors the deep and talented Vikings over the Packers, who turn to backup Brett Hundley under center.

Barr revealed that he received a whopping 3,000 tweets by the time he checked his phone after the game, plenty of them filled with "not too kind words."

"Everyone is going to be entitled to their opinion. If it happened to my quarterback, I'd probably say it was illegal and the same thing," Barr said. "They're trying to defend their guy, and you don't want to see a player get injured."

The play itself drew no flag from officials and no fine from the league office -- although Barr was docked $9,115 for head-butting Green Bay wideout Davante Adams.

That's a tougher case for the Vikings Pro Bowler to defend, but he stood his ground on the Rodgers front.

"I wish him a speedy recovery," Barr said. "He's one of my favorite players to compete against and play against. I have the utmost respect for him and the entire Packers organization."

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