Sherman’s Great With One Arm, Too

That was Aaron Rodgers' take on why the Packers didn't test an injured Richard Sherman during the fourth quarter of Sunday's NFC Championship Game. (Kyle Terada/USA TODAY)

In Week 1, the best quarterback in the NFL (Aaron Rodgers) didn’t throw a single pass at the best cornerback in the NFL (Richard Sherman).

It wasn’t much different in Sunday’s NFC Championship Game, even though Sherman sustained a painful elbow injury during the first play of the fourth quarter.

While the Fox TV cameras showed Sherman wincing in pain through much of the fourth quarter, Packers receivers Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb say they were not aware that Sherman was injured.

“Didn’t know at all,” Cobb said on Monday.

Rodgers did know, but didn’t put Sherman to much of a test.

“He’s a great player. He’s a great player on one arm,” Rodgers said on his weekly radio show on ESPN Milwaukee on Tuesday.

According to Packer Report’s charting, Sherman lined up across from Davante Adams 35 times and Nelson 22 times (and Andrew Quarless twice and Jarrett Boykin once) in snaps in which the Packers weren’t in their jumbo offensive packages.

However, the Packers targeted Sherman only three times (only twice officially). The first was on the opening possession, when Rodgers thought — and replays confirm — that Seattle was offside and took what he believed was a no-risk shot downfield. Rodgers’ ball was underthrown, which allowed the rangy Sherman to get in front of Adams for a leaping interception.

“I think it’s pretty evident on the film,” Rodgers said of Michael Bennett being offside.

The second came early in the second quarter, when Rodgers again drew the Seahawks offside and took a deep shot to Adams. That ball was overthrown. Because the Packers accepted the penalty, the play didn’t count.

After that, the Packers didn’t throw at Sherman for about 43 minutes. On third-and-10 on the Packers’ two-minute drive late in regulation, Rodgers hit Nelson for a gain of 6. Sherman made the tackle and Mason Crosby kicked a 48-yard field goal to force overtime.

“We tried a couple in the two-minute drive but there’s always going to be second-guessing in this business,” Rodgers said. “It’s frustrating knowing how close we were and just kind of needed a first down there in the fourth quarter to give our defense a little break and take another couple minutes off the clock.”

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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