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Aaron Rodgers darkness retreat, explained: Why Packers QB is spending four days in isolation

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The Packers are facing some key questions that they must answer during the 2023 NFL offseason, but they can’t answer any of them until they know about the future of Aaron Rodgers.

Rodgers, 39, is contemplating whether he wants to continue with his NFL career or retire. If he does want to keep playing, Green Bay will have to choose between Rodgers and Jordan Love as its top quarterback, so each party needs to prepare for either possibility.

That said, the Packers won’t be able to make a decision about Rodgers until after the veteran quarterback does something he has been hoping to do for a long time: go on a darkness retreat.

Yes, Rodgers will be spending time in an isolated room for multiple days. It will be pitch black and he is hoping that the sensory deprivation will provide him with a unique experience overall.

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Naturally, NFL fans are immensely curious about what exactly an isolation retreat entails. Thankfully, Rodgers walked fans through it before he went off to have a life-changing experience.

Here’s what to know about Rodgers’ darkness retreat as he prepares to enter isolation.

What is Aaron Rodgers’ darkness retreat?

Rodgers’ darkness retreat is exactly what it sounds like. He said he will spend several days in complete darkness in an attempt to have some “profound experiences.”

What exactly does this experience entail? Rodgers detailed on “The Pat McAfee Show” that it would include the following:

  • He will be alone in a room for the duration of the darkness.
  • He will be provided with a toilet and a bathtub in the middle of the room.
  • He will be provided with food from those running the retreat. It will arrive once a day via a two-way slot in the door.
  • The experience will involve “a lot of sleeping.”
  • He will be sober during the event.

Rodgers also explained that he was not required to stay for the entirety of the event. If he had any sort of issue with his introspective journey, he would be able to call an “audible” and leave the room.

“If it’s too much, then I’ll just walk out,” he said. “The door is unlocked. If you wanna leave, you leave.”

So, now you know what a darkness retreat is, but its description just begs another question to be asked.

MORE: Why Tom Brady doesn’t want Aaron Rodgers to retire from NFL

Why is Aaron Rodgers doing a darkness retreat?

Indeed, many will wonder exactly why Rodgers chose to pursue this experience, but he does have a reason for it.

Rodgers explained his choice to attend the event during his weekly appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show” before the Super Bowl.

“I’ve had a number of friends who’ve done it and had some profound experiences,” Rodgers said of the darkness retreat. “It’s something that’s been on my radar for a few years now. I felt like it’d be awesome to do regardless of where I was leaning after this season.”

It’s also worth noting that the process — which Rodgers referred to as “sensory deprivation isolation” — can stimulate the production of DMT, a naturally occurring, psychotropic drug that can cause hallucinations.

Rodgers is hoping that can help him reach a moment of profound self-realization.

That said, he isn’t necessarily hoping for that to be a clear decision about his playing future, though he will likely think about that during the retreat.

“I said, after the Super Bowl, I’m gonna go on my darkness retreat, I’m probably going to have a better sense of where I’m at in my life,” Rodgers said. “I didn’t say, ‘I’m going to my darkness retreat just to figure out if I’m going to play next year or retire.'”

MORE: Aaron Rodgers hints at potential Packers exit before heading to darkness retreat

How long is Aaron Rodgers’ darkness retreat?

Rodgers told McAfee and Co. that the retreat would last four days and four nights. It isn’t clear whether he will enter the room at daytime or nighttime; usually, it’s the latter for darkness retreats so that participants can leave at sunrise the next day and give their eyes the eight-to-10 hours needed to readjust back to the light.

Either way, Rodgers will be out of the loop for a handful of days before the Packers’ all-important offseason of decisions can begin.

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When did Aaron Rodgers start his darkness retreat?

Rodgers didn’t give a clear start date for his retreat, but he told McAfee on Feb. 14 that it would occur “at the end of the week.” As such, it’s safe to assume that he will be starting the journey at some point on Thursday or Friday.

Whenever it is, the Packers will probably be happy when it’s over. They are facing a critical offseason as they look to make a decision about whether to stick with Rodgers at quarterback or move on to Love.

Green Bay won’t be able to make that choice until Rodgers decides whether he wants to play in 2023 or retire. So, the Packers are certainly hoping that he will emerge from the experience with a clear head.


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