The Green Bay Packers defense has been the subject of intense scrutiny due to its play over the past two weeks, and the criticism is beginning to wear on at least one of the team’s stars.
De’Vondre Campbell took to X, formerly known as Twitter, on the morning of Tuesday, December 17, to share his discontent with the recent criticism of his performance and to declare that he will no longer attempt to play through injury because of it.
Not going out my way anymore and I’m not playing through injuries anymore cause when shit goes wrong they always use it against you. 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 🤝🏿
— De'Vondre Campbell (@Came_Along_Way) December 19, 2023
“Not going out my way anymore, and I’m not playing through injuries anymore cause when s*** goes wrong, they always use it against you,” Campbell wrote. “I’m treating everyone accordingly and giving them the same energy they give me. Focus on yourelf and your mental 59, you owe it to yourself.”
Injuries Have Cost De’Vondre Campbell 7 Games Over Past 2 Seasons
It is unclear whether Campbell was upset with fans/media, members of the Packers organization or both, but it is the team that will need to weather any future absences from its starting inside linebacker, as Green Bay strives for a playoff spot.
A first-team All-Pro in 2021, Campbell missed four contests in 2022 due to a knee injury. He revealed in July that he was also hampered for much of that campaign by a “nagging shoulder injury” that he “never told anyone about.”
Campbell has appeared in 10 of 14 games this season, missing three contests earlier in the year due to an ankle issue and sitting out another game in late November due to a neck injury.
The timing of Campbell’s tweet on Tuesday — after he allowed 135 passing yards in coverage during a 34-20 home loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers two days before — suggests that he was playing hurt during that contest. However, the Packers never listed Campbell on the official injury report leading up to the game.
As such, it is unclear whether Campbell is continuing to battle lingering affects of the neck injury or if he sustained some new injury over the past several weeks that has gone unreported. The NFL requires teams to report all injuries weekly, which is an even greater concern now that sports gambling is legal throughout much of the United States and accurate injury reports are a critical element to sports betting.
Although, given Campbell’s recent history of keeping a shoulder injury secret in 2022, it is possible he is contending with an ailment the franchise knew nothing about prior to Tuesday.
De’Vondre Campbell Has Not Played Up to New Contract
Campbell was great for the Packers in 2021, playing on a $2 million prove-it deal after four years with the Atlanta Falcons and a middling season with the Arizona Cardinals in 2020.
His play earned him a five-year deal worth $50 million to stay in Green Bay, though the linebacker has since failed to live up to the high expectations that accompany such a contract. Campbell has produced arguably his worst season in pass-coverage in 2023 over the span of an eight-year NFL career, allowing opposing quarterbacks a collective completion percentage of 72% and a collective rating of 111.2 (a career-low), per Pro Football Reference.
Pro Football Focus currently ranks Campbell the 54th-best player at his position out of 80 players who have logged enough snaps through 14 games to qualify.