Aaron Rodgers' knee surgery comes on heels of big rushing season
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has a lethal arm, but he can also beat you with his legs. After the 2015 season, one of those legs needed minor knee surgery.
Via the NFL's official Twitter account:
Green Bay's offense was inconsistent in 2015, and Rodgers had to carry the unit more often than not. Often, the 32-year-old quarterback had to tuck the ball and run with it.
Rodgers rushed for 344 yards this past season -- the second highest total of his career. His 58 rushing attempts in 2015 were tied for the third most of his career. The Packers finished 12th in the NFL in rushing offense (115.6 yards per game), but that ranking would have slipped significantly without Rodgers' production (94.1 yards per game).
Although he had a weekly impact as a ball-carrier, his rushing abilities were particularly important in two key wins.
First, Rodgers was forced to run in a Week 5 matchup against the St. Louis Rams that featured a total of six interceptions. He led the team with 39 rushing yards on eight carries, guiding the Packers to a tough, 24-10 victory.
A couple months later, Rodgers had to take over the ground game in order to beat the Detroit Lions in Week 13. Before heaving a Hail Mary that would lift Green Bay to an improbable 27-23 win, he rushed four times for 27 yards and a touchdown. His 17-yard scoring sprint in the fourth quarter of that game was his only rushing touchdown of the season.
Without a mobile quarterback, the Packers could have easily dropped both of these contests and missed the playoffs.
Considering running back Eddie Lacy's up-and-down season and James Starks' uncertain future with free agency approaching, the Packers need to preserve Rodgers' mobility as much as possible. This offseason knee scope was likely a measure to do exactly that.