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Packers LB Campbell declines to discuss cause of frustrations after venting on social media

De'Vondre Campbell Green Bay Packers De'Vondre Campbell - Getty Images

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Green Bay Packers linebacker De’Vondre Campbell didn’t want to discuss on Wednesday whatever frustrations he’s experiencing this season that led to a social media post in which he announced he would no longer play through injuries.

Posting on X, the social media platform previously known as Twitter, the eighth-year veteran wrote on Tuesday.

“Not going out my way anymore and I’m not playing through injuries anymore cause when (stuff) goes wrong they always use it against you.”

Campbell, who wears No. 59, then offered himself some advice, adding, “I’m treating everyone accordingly and giving them the same energy they giving me. Focus on yourself and your mental 59 you owe it to yourself.”

At 6-8 after back-to-back losses to the New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in which the defense failed in key situations, the Packers likely need to win their final three games in order to make the NFC playoffs, starting with Sunday’s road game at Carolina (2-12).

When reporters approached Campbell at his locker as he came into the room at the end of the team’s post-practice media locker room access period, Campbell turned and said, “I’m not talking about nothing that happened on the Internet. If y’all want to talk about the Panthers, we can, but I ain’t answering no questions about nothing on no Internet.”

Campbell has missed four games and parts of two others this season, first with an ankle injury he sustained early in a Sept. 24 win over the New Orleans Saints that sidelined him for the next three weeks, then missed a fourth game with a neck injury he suffered in the fourth quarter of a Nov. 19 win over the Los Angeles Chargers.

Campbell didn't practice Wednesday and is listed on the injury report with a neck issue.

In the 10 games he’s started, Campbell has had 67 tackles (42 solo), two tackles for a loss, one fumble recovery, zero sacks, one QB hit and one pass break-up.

After earning All-Pro honors in 2021 with a career-high 145 tackles, two interceptions, two sacks, six tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and five pass break-ups, Campbell missed three games with a knee injury last season and wasn’t as effective, and now his numbers have dipped further.

Because he declined to discuss why he wrote what he did, it’s unclear why Campbell was so frustrated or whether he was directing his ire at the coaching staff, fans on social media or someone else.

The timing of it did seem to indicate he was unhappy with the public criticism of how the defense played against the Buccaneers.

Campbell did play 61 of the 62 defensive snaps on a unit that gave up 452 yards and allowed quarterback Baker Mayfield to throw for 381 yards and four touchdowns for a perfect passer rating of 158.3.

Packers coach Matt LaFleur faced questions Monday as to why he’d decided to keep oft-criticized defensive coordinator Joe Barry.

LaFleur cited communication issues as the reason why the defense struggled. Campbell found himself matched up on wide receivers multiple times on passing plays, as Tampa Bay’s Chris Godwin exploited some of those mismatches on his 10 catches for 155 yards.

LaFleur, who was on the Atlanta Falcons staff in 2015 and 2016 when Campbell was playing for the Falcons, said he spoke with Campbell but “didn’t get into” exactly what sparked his post.

Instead, LaFleur suggested Campbell has been frustrated with his injury issues after not missing a single game because of an injury from 2017 through 2020.

“I’ve always respected the man and how he works, how he approaches the game. He pours his heart and soul into this thing,” said LaFleur, indicating Campbell won’t practice all week.

“This is a long season, right? And it takes a toll on (a player’s) body, no question about it. I just think he’s extremely frustrated. Sometimes that happens.”