McCarthy Calls Decision on No. 24 ‘Premature’

Packers coach Mike McCarthy said the door has not been closed on Jarrett Bush's return - despite what it might seem with the decision to give his number to a rookie.

For years, coach Mike McCarthy and general manager Ted Thompson have walked in lock step, seemingly always on the same page – for public consumption, at least – on all decisions big and small.

The decision to award second-round pick Quinten Rollins the No. 24 worn by longtime special-teams ace Jarrett Bush, however, showed a rare break between the Green Bay Packers’ two leaders.

Players in the past have said that it’s Thompson who issues the jersey numbers. Thus, the decision to give No. 24 to Rollins would indicate that the door is closed on bringing back Bush, who remains an unrestricted free agent.

“I don’t think the 24 really signifies that,” McCarthy said after Day 1 of the team’s rookie orientation camp. “Jarrett is a nine-year player here. If he did come back to us and things worked out in the future, he’d be wearing 24. I think it’s premature, frankly, that we did that.”

Bush’s locker, complete with nameplate, was still intact in the Packers’ locker room.

Bush, who turns 31 on May 21, is a five-time playoff captain on special teams. In eight of his nine seasons, he’s recorded at least 10 tackles on special teams.

Bush was arrested on March 2 for misdemeanor public intoxication following an incident in his hometown of Vacaville, Calif. No charges were filed.

Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at

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