the Packers blew out the Vikings 41-17 on Sunday, giving them an opportunity to control their own destiny to make the playoffs. The win had to be much sweeter, though considering what happened before the game.
At the coin toss, the captains of both teams usually shake hands before heading to their respective benches. One of the Vikings captains was linebacker Za’Darius Smithbut the former Packers didn’t shake hands with the Packers captains.
Smith had a difficult breakup with Green Bay, as the team released him following an injury-riddled 2021 season. It bothered him so much that he chose to sign with NFC North rival Minnesota.
“Walking past me not saying anything. ‘Z, how’s your back doing?’—there was none of that,” Smith said in September. “As you can see, that adds on to why I’m on the other side. So, I can go back. I get to go back two times a year. … I put my back on the f—— line. I put everything. And that Year Three, I was treated badly. That’s why I’m here now. So, I can play them twice a year.”
The Vikings beat the Packers 23-7 in Week 1 to get Smith some measure of revenge, but that game was in Minnesota. Sunday was Smith’s return to Lambeau Field.
While Smith didn’t shake hands with the Packers captains, Green Bay safety Adrian Amos made sure to give his former teammate a hug before the coin toss.
“I already knew he was going to do that. That’s why I walked to him,” Amos said, via Rob Demovsky. “Ain’t no disrespect. That’s why we were both laughing. He went to another team, thinks he’s been wronged, know what I’m saying?”