Aaron Rodgers joined the Mike Tirico Podcast as a guest in an episode that arrived Thursday, and the Green Bay Packers quarterback discussed his relationship with Brett Favre and the Week 1 injury Rodgers sustained against the Chicago Bears.
Tirico asked how worried Rodgers was about the severity of his injury, when he was carted off the field in the first half. Rodgers famously returned after the break and led the Packers to a stirring comeback victory.
"I was worried after we went into that secret blue tent and the doc said he wanted to get it X-rayed and get a better look at it," Rodgers said. "I was worried it was significant because I was in a great deal of pain.
"I was definitely worried about this being the first game, was it going to be significant, was I going to be out? But once we went back to the locker room and got it checked out, I just felt like we could play through the pain and get back out there."
As for Favre, Rodgers said both sides have gained greater understanding of the tension in 2008, when Rodgers was anointed as Favre's replacement as starting quarterback at a time when Favre still wanted to play.
"As I look back at my career, one thing that was very important to me at some point was rectifying that relationship with Brett and getting back to where we were in '07 when he was starting and I was a backup," Rodgers told Tirico. "We had a great time and really enjoyed hanging out with each other and being teammates. All this stuff happened in '08, and then we had an onstage handshake at the Honors that one year (the 2013 NFL Honors presentation) that kind of started the healing process, and now I consider him a close friend."
Rodgers said he and Favre communicate regularly.
"I went down and visited with him for a couple days in the offseason, and that has really meant a lot to me, to find that friendship with Brett again and honor him as a friend and former teammate and Packer quarterback the way he deserves to be honored. ... As much as it was tough the first year, they drafted this young kid from California, (Favre) is 36, turning 37, not ready to retire. The strains that put on the relationship. Now we can look back and have a lot better appreciation for each other, for me understanding what he was going through, for him understanding what it's like to be 21 and play with one of your idols. It's been great to make up for lost time with Brett, because he meant a lot for me and my development as a player."
Rodgers also said he first recognized his "love affair" with the fans at the end of the 2008 season.
"We played an 0-15 Lions team we were expected to beat, and we beat them 31-21, kind of pulled away at the end," Rodgers recalled. "We were 6-10, and I remember walking off the field getting a big-time ovation. Still to this day, that gives me the chills, and sometimes chokes me up, because I think about how it was difficult at times during that offseason and during the year, but that moment will always stay with me about how special I felt. That connection really start there and how it's grown."