Packers fans asked me this question, “How are you feeling after Sunday?”
Tying with your arch rival for the 2nd time since 2013 (ugh, Matt Flynn). Sunday’s tie of 29 was like a spectacular blockbuster that had a rotten ending, but there is one play that sticks in my mind.
Overtime. 2nd and 1. Fake up the middle and Rodgers begins to fall, fumbles the ball and dives on it. That killed the game for me because it would have continued the drive, give kicker Mason Crosby a chance to possibly win the game. Que Sera.
Why is this play a big deal for me? Because that play showed that Rodgers is not 100 percent and this week he is showing concern about the knee injury possibly becoming worse as he continues to play. According to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com, Rodgers said, “I’ll just adjust accordingly to how I’m feeling and try to get through,” This is no surprise to fans when Rodgers toughs it out because that’s how Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre was with his injuries ranging from concussion, injured thumb, leg strain etc.
Yes, I’m aware he hasn’t practiced all week, but he is doing his rehab which is more important because even with the concern about his knee sprain. He’s going to play. He needs to play. He…wants to play.
My colleague, Mark Eckel and I discussed this on the Pack a Day podcast on iTunes before the season. We know this team is fourth in the NFL with a young roster. It’s Rodgers and a bunch of hopeful stars in the making for the future. Not a bad thing at all, but go to New England with Tom Brady. If Brady went down, would they be the same team? No, of course not. It’s the same thing without Rodgers.
They are far better than last year’s roster because there is talent on this team on both sides. there is a new vibe with the blitz-happy pass defense coached by defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. There are great signs that this defense will continue to improve as the season goes on. For example, I loved it when I saw the corners coming up to help on the blitz against Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins explicitly. However, the only way it can happen is if Rodgers chooses to keep playing. He can move the chains, he can kill off time and keep opposing offenses off the field.
Plus, the schedule greatly favors the Packers over the next few weeks.
Sunday: @ Washington
9/30: vs Buffalo
10/7: @ Detroit
10/15: vs San Francisco (Monday night)
After the games with these four teams holding a combined record of two and six, it leads to the bye week. Where Rodgers can get a needed rest and continue the healing process. Because after the bye week, that’s when the Packers will be challenged upright with the likes of the Rams, Falcons, and of course, a return to Minneapolis with the Vikings.
Until then, let Rodgers have control of his health and if he chooses to play then hand him the football without discussion. He’s the engine to this new car model right off the line.
Without it? Better call AAA because this car is in the NFL repair shop and it could be months before it is fixed.
Jake Turner is the host of the passionate Turning Points podcast on iTunes and co-host with Mark Eckel on the Pack a Day podcast. Follow him on twitter at @JakeTurnerSport Instagram: jaketurner61.