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McCarthy, Rodgers try to end Packers' Super Bowl photo drama

Coach Mike McCarthy insisted he's finished with the Green Bay Packers' team photo issue. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers said he called linebacker Nick Barnett to clear the air about it.

Now, they hope, it's time to concentrate on more important things -- like next weekend's Super Bowl.

"Frankly, we're really ready to get to Dallas," McCarthy said Sunday after repeatedly calling the photo flap a "non-issue" and adding his team learned in this instance that "sometimes, little things turn into big things."

It all started early in the week when Barnett and tight end Jermichael Finley complained on Twitter that they wouldn't be in the Packers' Super Bowl photo because it was scheduled to be taken Tuesday, two days before injured players will arrive in Dallas. Green Bay's other players and coaches will land Monday.

However, Rodgers and another team captain, Pro Bowl cornerback Charles Woodson, brought the issue to McCarthy's attention, and they decided to reschedule the photo for Friday so everyone could participate.

Unfortunately for the Packers, that wasn't the end of it. Rodgers reignited the debate Saturday when he said some of the team's 16 injured players chose not to stay in Green Bay and rehabilitate.

Barnett, who hasn't played since Week 4 because of a wrist injury, took offense and fired back at Rodgers, writing on Twitter: "Try rehabing with 16 others then 53 more. Doubt you get the full attention needed.. It's easy to speak about others when you are not in their position.. Talk about 'union' ha."

Barnett later erased those tweets and said he would stop using the social networking service. He added: "All I wanted to be is included as a teammate nothing more.. Looks like it has back fired on me.. I guess that was asking too much... Sorry if I offended anyone.. That was not my intention."

Rodgers told ESPN that he called Barnett on Saturday to smooth over things.

"I initiated the conversation," Rodgers said. "We ironed things out. I didn't think there needed to be an apology on either side.

"I reminded him I was the one who went to the third floor and lobbied to have everyone in the team photo. I realize people are going to want to talk about this at the Super Bowl, but everything is cool."

The whole situation has even flabbergasted the Packers' Super Bowl opposition. Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley tweeted Sunday: "I can tell u this much-us @steelers would never be tweeting jabs at each other.. over a team picture issue especially LOL."

McCarthy said Thursday the players made a "poor decision" when they complained in public, but that it was no big deal to change the timing of the photo. He also said the attention paid to the issue was a "total overreaction" and that he was advised to expect such distractions while preparing his team for the Super Bowl.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) rushes during an NFL football game between the between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Peter Joneleit)

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