Aaron Rodgers won’t be 100% today against the Vikings, but the Pro Bowl quarterback is scheduled to start the game for the Packers.
Fresh off his miraculous comeback last weekend against the Bears, Aaron Rodgers is ready to try to repeat the feat against the Vikings this week. Any hope Minnesota fans had about avoiding the Pro Bowl quarterback is now gone.
Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reports that the quarterback’s knee is still “sore and swollen” but his play during practice on Saturday was good enough to earn him the start on Sunday. There were whispers during the week that Rodgers might need a week off to get his knee back to full health, but he was always likely to play against the Vikings.
The real question here is whether or not it’s smart for the Packers to put him out there today. Mike Zimmer’s defense is one of the most ferocious units in the NFL. Deploying Deshone Kizer against the Vikings would put the Packers at a supreme disadvantage in the game, but it would be a better choice for Rodgers’ long-term health.
Playing a quarterback with limited mobility against that group is akin to putting a sitting duck in front of a pack of wolves. The Packers will need to pay special attention to protect Rodgers from the Vikings’ pass rushers.
Expect to see a ton of shotgun formations from Green Bay. After Rodgers came back into the game against the Bears, Mike McCarthy went almost exclusively to that formation to prevent Rodgers from having to put pressure on his knee by dropping back to pass. The Packers cannot afford to let that formation choice impact their run/pass balance. The only way they can keep Rogers upright in this game is to establish some sort of running game.
Packers fans will be happy that Rodgers is going to start this game, but they’ll be even more pleased if he finishes it. Keeping him healthy against the Vikings is just as important as trying to win the game for Green Bay.