Aaron Rodgers on left calf injury: ‘I think I got 120 minutes left in me’
Aaron Rodgers wasn’t his usual self on Sunday in light of his left calf injury during the Green Bay Packers’ 26-21 victory over the Dallas Cowboys. But even appearing quite gimpy and clearly hobbled due to his bum leg throughout the game, Rodgers nevertheless managed to make huge plays when necessary, going 24-for-35 for 316 yards with three touchdowns as the Packers erased an eight-point deficit in the second half to storm its way to a spectacular, if controversial, victory.
Rodgers said after the game he isn’t overly concerned about his nagging injury and cleverly indicated that his calf probably will be able to hold up just long enough to lead the Packers to the franchise’s fifth Super Bowl championship.
“I think I’ve got 120 minutes left in me so I’m going to do everything I can to make sure I can play all those minutes,” Rodgers said, via the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel referring of course to the two games — and victories — needed for Green Bay to ultimately hoist the Lombardi Trophy.
Rodgers clearly was favoring his left leg throughout the game, especially initially and throughout the first half but appeared to loosen up and move around the pocket a bit more as the game progressed.
“I had an idea going in of what I’d be able to do, but it changed a little bit after the throw to Andrew (Quarless),” Rodgers said, referring to his first quarter touchdown pass to the Packers tight end and why he threw the ball instead of running it into the end zone. “It (the calf) was a little stiffer than I thought it would be, so I just kind of adjusted from there.”
On the 13-yard touchdown pass he threw to tight end Richard Rodgers that put the Packers up for good in the fourth quarter, Rodgers demonstrated some semblance of the mobility and pocket presence that has made him a threat anytime he is able to improvise and freelance on the fringes.
Rodgers rolled left then threaded the needle while firing a bullet to the end zone between Cowboys defenders and indicated afterward it was easier for him to move that direction during the game.
“I was able to move to the left slightly, which was actually a little bit easier moving to the left today for whatever reason on the calf,” he said.
Rodgers has a big week of treatment ahead of him as he and the Packers training staff do their collective best to get him as close to healthy as possible heading into the team’s showdown with Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship Game next Sunday. One thing that may work in Rodgers’ favor is the temperature in Seattle most likely will be a bit warmer than the chilly conditions he weathered in Green Bay. While Rodgers in all likelihood will never feel 100 percent however long Green Bay’s playoff run continues, the presumed hope for the Packers is that the more mild conditions may be more conducive in keeping his wonky calf feeling a bit looser come game time.
(photo credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports)