By Lucy Rendler-Kaplan // @lucyrk78
I hate to call this a revenge game. But….
This is a big game. And I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared to death to watch it. The Minnesota Vikings are a VERY good team. I actually think the Vikings are a better overall team, although the Packers have the better quarterback.
And no one is forgetting that they broke quarterback Aaron Rodgers last year.
Will they be subtly trying to injure him again? I hate to think that, but I just can’t help it. They know that they can stop the Packers from sweeping the division. To top it all off, Rodgers isn’t fully healthy. Which the Packers absolutely need when facing a team of Minnesota’s caliber.
The Packers hold a 59-52-2 edge in this rivalry although the Vikings have won three of the last four meetings including a sweep of both games in 2017.
Aaron Rodgers hasn’t practiced this week while rehabbing his sprained knee. However, head coach Mike McCarthy has made it clear that Rodgers doesn’t need to practice in order to play Sunday. If it were any other team than the Vikings, I’d say sit him. Let him rest that knee a bit longer in order to keep it strong the rest of the season. But again, this is a big game.
One of the Vikings strongest suits is their pass rush. Green Bay will have to work much harder than we’ve seen to protect Rodgers. The more Rodgers is sacked, the higher the risk of a more serious injury to his knee becomes probable.
Ending the week speaking to the media, Rodgers said, “I’m not sure what kind of mobility, if I can play Sunday, I’ll be able to have. It’s about muscle memory. I’ve been in situations where I haven’t been able to move a ton outside the pocket and still had mobility within the pocket. I mean, there’s two kinds of mobility – in the pocket, being subtle movements that allow you to have a clean launch point, and then there’s movement that allows you to get outside the pocket, which allows you to extend plays and take shots down the field or run. And we’ll see what kind of mobility I’m allowed to have.”
Limited in his mobility upon his return last week when facing the Bears, Rodgers was pretty impressive – can the Packers get that lucky twice?
I’m a broken record when it comes to begging Green Bay to find ways for players to do MORE, and not have to rely on Rodgers to always carry the team to victories. This is never truer than it will be Sunday afternoon.
Rodgers won’t be able to escape and run as he does so well. Green Bay will need offensive linemen Corey Linsley and Justin McCray to have big games. Although they had a better second half last week against the Bears, Linsley and McCray struggled in the first half. There is less room for error and uncertainty this week.
Talk Packers with Lucy on Twitter @Lucyrk78