Linebacker Erik Walden returned to the Green Bay Packers today, one day after being released from Brown County Jail following his arrest for domestic abuse last Friday.
After addressing the team, Walden faced the media and apologized publicly to his teammates and fans.
Here are his comments in their entirety (from what I can tell) via the Press Gazette.
“First off, I’d like to thank the most high for helping me get through this matter,” Walden said. “Secondly, I apologize to the entire organization, teammates, the fans. It’s an ongoing process. I respect that process.
“It’s just unfortunate I brought something negative (with) so much positive that’s going on with this organization. I’m cooperating fully.”
“It’s tough, but, like I said, it’s an ongoing process,” Walden said. “Again, I just want to elaborate that I apologize to this organization, my teammates and definitely the fans.”
“Again, I just want to apologize,” Walden said. “I feel terribly about the situation. I’m just ready to move on and play football.”
Kareem Copeland described Walden’s demeanor as contrite and embarrassed.
It’s unclear if the Packers plan to hold Walden out of Sunday’s game, although they haven’t given any indication they will. He hasn’t been charged with a crime because, as we noted yesterday, his girlfriend changed her story.
Walden has a court hearing scheduled for December 7.
The real question — from a football standpoint — is if the incident and media attention will affect the Packers’ focus as they go on the road to face the New York Giants?