That injury — his second in a week — sent Rodgers to the locker room and put the Packers’ NFC North championship hopes in peril. Rodgers returned and, in a signature moment in his career, led the Packers to a 30-20 victory and a much-needed bye.
As Rodgers prepares for Sunday’s NFC Divisional game against Dallas, he said he’s not concerned about the prospect of injuring the muscle again.
“If it happens, it happens,” Rodgers said on his weekly radio show with ESPN Milwaukee’s Jason Wilde on Tuesday. “At that point, it's out of my control. I’ve got to get myself in the best position to play and then realize whatever limitations I might have moving – maybe I won’t have any, maybe we’ll get to Sunday and I’ll feel great. Or maybe I’ll be very limited. It just depends on how I’m feeling this week, and we’ll adjust accordingly.”
Rodgers wasn’t sure if he’d practice on Wednesday, when the team begins its on-field preparation for the Cowboys. Last week, coach Mike McCarthy said Rodgers might practice Thursday, at the earliest. On Monday, however, McCarthy said Rodgers was progressing and left the door open that he’d practice on Wednesday, pending a pre-practice exam from the medical staff.
“It feels better. We’ll see what happens this week as far as practice reps,” Rodgers said. “Everybody's so concerned about them. I'm not, and thankfully my teammates aren’t, either. But we’d like to get out there at some point and move around a little bit. It just depends on how it’s feeling. I’ve been talking with (Dr. Pat McKenzie since) last week. Our trainers are awesome. We’ve been doing a lot of treatment. Got some acupuncture as well, which always helps. But, yeah, we’ll see how it feels “
Rodgers has done well with limited or no practice in the past. On Monday, offensive coordinator Tom Clements recalled that Rodgers didn’t practice for about a month after injuring his left shoulder in 2008. Rodgers turned in three consecutive games with a passer rating of at least 100 after the injury. And Rodgers barely practiced last week but beat Detroit.
“It affected me more as a young starter because the more reps you take, the better you’re going to play,” Rodgers said. “And the more looks you get at something – certain plays or defenses – the better you’re going to play. As I’m in my seventh year starting, 10th year in the league, I think those reps become a little bit less important as far as being able to play on Sunday without practicing. I love to practice because I love the competition. I love being out there being able to make some of the checks you’re going to make on game days.”
“I talk all the time about how to have faith in a guy, to be able to trust a guy to play well on Sundays, you’ve got to see it in practice,” Rodgers said. “You want to see the young guys making plays and doing things off the checks you make or off of just plays you make that week. You want to see them doing that so you have that confidence when you break the huddle or when that play comes in and the first thing that comes to your mind is, ‘Richard ran a good route on Wednesday on this play and made this catch.’ Or ‘Davante ran a great adjustment on this play and then made this play in practice,’ so that when the ball’s about to be snapped, you have that picture in your mind and that’s a positive image that you can attach to that play. “
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