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Lance Kendricks and Richard Rodgers are what remains of the Green Bay Packers’ tight end group … if you can call two players a group.

They not only were left to try to salvage the position but also answer questions about their former teammate, Martellus Bennett, whose bizarre saga with the Packers took another turn when he was claimed off waivers by the Patriots on Thursday.

Kendricks, who grew close to Bennett in part because the two free agents both arrived this offseason, said he has been in touch with his former teammate.

Rodgers took more of the don’t-let-the-door-hit-you-on-the-way-out approach.

“I think we know where we’re trying to go,” Rodgers said. “If someone is not on that boat, it’s better that they’re not here. We’re looking to move on. We know our ultimate goal. We have to continue to execute on offense.”

Neither Rodgers nor anyone else would say for certain that they believed Bennett tried to force his way out of Green Bay after the Packers’ season took a turn for the worse following Aaron Rodgers’ injury.

“I don’t know if that was his plan,” Richard Rodgers said. “I don’t know if that was his intention. But it doesn’t matter to me.”

The fourth-year tight end admitted he did not get to know Bennett well.

“We weren’t around each other for very long,” Richard Rodgers said. “We’re in here working together, but that’s pretty much it.”

Still, no one was quite sure what happened, either. All they know is after their quarterback broke his collarbone, Bennett went home for the bye and posted on social media saying he was “pretty sure” this would be his final season. He then came back to Green Bay for the first practice after the week off and the next day showed up with a shoulder injury.

“I don’t know what happened,” Kendricks said. “I can say he’s the biggest team player. I’m not sure what the disconnect might be.”

Bennett, 30, never addressed the retirement talk in detail. He offered only a one-word explanation when asked what led him to that decision: “Life.” But there were those around the Packers who didn’t think Bennett was serious about quitting, saying it was just “Marty being Marty.”

Bennett, normally outspoken on social media, wrote a couple of posts after the Patriots claimed him. One tweet said: “I’ll tell y’all everything one day, but wow.”

Unless the Packers (4-4) add a tight end before Sunday’s visit to the Chicago Bears, it will be a two-man crew for the second consecutive game. With Bennett out of Monday night’s loss to the Lions, Rodgers played 33 snaps and Kendricks 29.

Rodgers caught one pass for 5 yards, while Kendricks had two for 32 yards. Bennett’s totals through seven games weren’t impressive — 24 catches for 233 yards without a touchdown and a team-high four dropped passes — but he played a significant role as a blocker in the run game. Neither Rodgers nor Bennett has shown himself to be Bennett’s equal as a blocker.

There’s one tight end on the practice squad, Emanuel Byrd. He was with the Packers for part of training camp but didn’t rejoin them until last week. Bennett’s roster spot remains open, so perhaps Byrd will get promoted. They also will have another roster spot when right tackle Bryan Bulaga inevitably goes on injured reserve after his season-ending knee injury.

But it’s also possible the Packers will just go with Rodgers and Kendricks for another week.

“We have two guys in that room that they’re veteran guys, they’re very experienced, they’re versatile guys as well,” Packers offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett said. “So we think the men in that room can certainly get the job done.”

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One look around the NFL during the Green Bay Packers’ bye showed just how much they miss the group of top-line players they lost in free agency last spring.

News of Martellus Bennett’s tentative plans to retire after this season make what happened with Jared Cook look even more perplexing.

Meanwhile, linebacker Julius Peppers recorded sack No. 7.5 this season — equaling his total from all of last season with the Packers — for the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, and safety Micah Hyde picked off his league-leading fifth pass for the Buffalo Bills.

Two of their former offensive linemen who left in free agency also lined up as starters for their new teams: T.J. Lang with the Detroit Lions and JC Tretter with the Cleveland Browns.

It’s hard to say which of those five free-agent losses the Packers miss most. Every one of those areas has proved problematic in Green Bay through the first seven games.

The Packers thought they had more than made up for Cook when they signed both Bennett and Lance Kendricks after negotiations surprisingly broke down with Cook. Cook and his agent either overplayed their hand or the Packers wouldn’t budge on their offer. Either way, the Packers turned elsewhere before Cook had anything in the works with the Oakland Raiders, who eventually signed him to a two-year, $10.6 million deal.

Cook, with 31 catches for 373 yards and one touchdown, has been more productive than Bennett (24 catches, 233 yards and no touchdowns) and also doesn’t plan on retiring after this season.

Then there’s Peppers, who has more sacks this season than Nick Perry (3.5 sacks) and Clay Matthews (2.5) combined. The Packers’ struggling defense, which entered Week 8 ranked 22nd overall, could have certainly used another pass-rusher. Peppers went back to Carolina for a one-year, $3.5 million deal, while the Packers re-signed Perry to a five-year, $60 million deal.

The Packers didn’t even make Hyde an offer before he signed a five-year, $30.5 million contract with the Bills. Meanwhile, the Packers’ secondary has been a mess with injuries at both cornerback and safety. Hyde’s five interceptions nearly equal the Packers’ entire team total of six this season.

On the offensive line, the Packers have started a different combination in each of their seven games this season. Meanwhile, Tretter has started every game for the Browns, while Lang has started all but one game for the Lions.