Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers limited in practice
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) While he appreciates suggestions from Packers fans of remedies for his sore left calf, Aaron Rodgers is not necessarily going to listen to the advice.
Whatever Rodgers is doing appears to be working.
The quarterback took limited snaps on Wednesday, the first day of practice for Green Bay ahead of Sunday’s NFC title game against the Seattle Seahawks.
It is an improvement from last week, when Rodgers missed the first day of practice preparing for the Dallas Cowboys.
”I mean, he’s doing everything he can. I do know that,” coach Mike McCarthy said. ”We did a little bit more today than we did this time last week. I don’t really know if that’s an indicator. We’re dealing with it.”
Rodgers is sticking to the team’s prescribed rehab plan, along with an occasional dose of acupuncture, and that’s it.
”I know people have the best intentions when they’re sending stuff in,” Rodgers said. ”You know they want me to get back on the field. This time of the year when there’s an injury, there (are) a lot of experts out there.”
Rodgers doesn’t have the full mobility that allows him to extend plays outside the pocket, one of his trademark strengths.
The right arm is just fine though. The 13-yard touchdown pass thrown like a fastball to Richard Rodgers in last week’s 26-21 win over Dallas is proof.
”I don’t think so,” Rodgers said when asked if he had to overcompensate with accuracy to make up for his limited mobility.
”It’s been pretty good for a number of years. Just limited mobility makes you have to throw from the pocket a little bit more.”
Those second- and third-looks created by Rodgers when he breaks out of the pocket may not be there as much, especially with the Seahawks’ stellar secondary.
Quick throws out of shotgun formation have become a staple of the Packers offense. They’re still running effectively out of that formation, too.
Maybe Seattle’s Pro Bowl cornerback Richard Sherman will even get a few throws in his direction this time after the Packers didn’t pass to his side of the field in the 36-16 loss in the season opener to the Seahawks.
McCarthy has said that wasn’t by design, but just how things played out in the course of the game. The Packers have said they’re not intimidated.
It’s simply a matter of who is open.
”Well I plan to throw it to the open guy. That’s kind of been the way I’ve played for a number of years,” Rodgers said when asked if he would target Sherman’s side.
Seattle’s defense has improved since Week 1, but so has the Packers offense. The offensive line, in particular, has played well, especially with a rookie at center in Corey Linsley.
McCarthy has called his front five possibly one of the best units that he has had in his nine years in Green Bay. Protection will be at a premium, especially, against the Seahawks.
”Just withstanding their speed, for sure, because you know that they’re going to come out real fast. It’s the NFC championship,” Linsley said. ”So, big games like this, teams come out real fast, so you’ve got to match their speed and withstand their initial surge that the coaches always talk about.
”Then after that, it’s just settling down and playing ball.”
Rodgers sets the tone with the even-keeled attitude. There is not even a hint of panic in the locker room that the Packers will have to face the Seahawks with their quarterback at less than full speed.
Rodgers has heard all the get-well suggestions. One fan recommendation noted by Rodgers on Wednesday involved what the quarterback called the ”human-to-pet connection.”
”I didn’t see quite how it related to my calf,” Rodgers said, ”but again I appreciate all the suggestions.”
Notes: Besides Rodgers, DL Josh Boyd (ankle) and OL Josh Sitton (toe) were also limited. Sitton has had his injury since the loss to New Orleans in Week 8. … Still, all 53 players on the roster practiced on Wednesday in some form. ”Health is very important. You need all hands on deck,” McCarthy said. ”The ability to play with the same 53, the same 46, for a couple weeks is a huge benefit.”
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