Rodgers Looks ‘Good to Go’

Quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt has liked what he's seen from Aaron Rodgers this week. A healthy Rodgers would be a major asset considering the offensive line injuries and the weather forecast. (Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY)

Alex Van Pelt has had a front-row seat to Aaron Rodgers’ road to recovery from a hamstring injury.

How has the Green Bay Packers’ franchise quarterback looked?

“I haven’t seen any affects. I think he’s good to go,” Van Pelt, the Packers’ quarterbacks coach, said on Thursday.

That’s pretty much what Rodgers promised after the loss at New Orleans on Oct. 26. After that disappointing loss, a game that turned when Rodgers’ clutched his hamstring on a third-quarter scramble, he said he wouldn’t miss any time with the injury. A well-timed bye week certainly didn’t hurt.

Rodgers has been full participation at practice this week.

“It took most of the week,” Rodgers said on Wednesday. “It’s feeling better now. You know, stuck to my program that the medical staff gave me for my rehab. But I got a little acupuncture, which helped release it a little bit. But it’s feeling better.”

The Packers certainly could use a healthy Rodgers on Sunday night against the Bears. It’s supposed to be cold with a chance of snow showers, so the footing might be less than perfect. And the Packers could be without one or both of their starting guards, with Josh Sitton (toe) and T.J. Lang (ankle) nursing injuries that have kept them out of practice this week.

“It hasn’t affected the way we’ve planned,” offensive coordinator Tom Clements said of the injuries on Thursday. “We’re still going to run our offense and, Josh and T.J., we still have a ways to go, and hopeful that they’ll be able to play.”

Movement is a big part of Rodgers’ game and his ability to extend plays is a hallmark of the Packers’ offense. The injury could impact that part of his game, Van Pelt said, though even that concern might be alleviated with a few more days until kickoff.

“I take care of my body pretty well, and I trust that by Sunday that it’s not going to be an issue,” Rodgers said. “I just have to play my game and, if something happens, I might dial it back a little bit.”

Against the Saints, the injury impacted Rodgers’ accuracy at times, though he eventually settled back into a groove. Before the injury, he was 14-of-19 for 298 yards with one touchdown, no interceptions and a passer rating of 133.1. After the injury, he was 14-of-20 for 120 yards, with no touchdowns, two interceptions and a rating of 45.8.

“It definitely affects your footwork, how you plant on the back foot,” Van Pelt said. “A couple of the passes that tripped him up, he historically wouldn’t have missed. In that second half, he had a couple balls that were uncharacteristic misses by him and I’m sure it had something to do with that.”

Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.


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