GREEN BAY, Wis. – Aaron Rodgers never felt the need to go into detail about his right thumb injury for a reason: it would never stop the Green Bay Packers quarterback from playing.
That’s why it wasn’t until Wednesday that he finally – and reluctantly – confirmed that he was indeed snapped.
“It makes no difference what I play,” Rodgers said. “It doesn’t make a difference. You saw the tape on my thumb. It didn’t make a difference.”
Rodgers has been dealing with the injury since being sacked by Giants linebacker Oshane Ximines on the last play of the Packers game Oct. 9 in London. Rodgers attempted a Hail Mary, but Ximines hit Rodgers’ throwing arm and forced a fumble. Immediately after the play, Rodgers came in to flex his right hand.
Rodgers was specifically asked on October 26 if his thumb was broken. He replied at the time: “My thumb is injured.”
Even when Pat McAfee asked Rodgers on Tuesday during his weekly McAfee show if his thumb was broken, Rodgers just said he had played with broken fingers in the past without giving further details about the injury.
“I think I had the worst injuries I’ve played with,” Rodgers said Wednesday. “Definitely a challenge, but the days off helped. I feel better this week.
He was back in practice Wednesday after a long hiatus following the Packers’ loss to the Titans last Thursday, when Rodgers’ accuracy was perhaps at its worst. He missed shots at critical moments in the second half against Allen Lazard and Sammy Watkins which he described as passes he had completed 99 out of 100 times. Yet he insisted the injury thumb had nothing to do with these misfires.
“There’s one in 100 that’s not going the right way,” Rodgers said.
When asked if he was just saying that because he didn’t want to sound like he was using the thumb as an excuse, Rodgers replied, “I think that’s the truth. much worse in the Dallas game, and I put the ball where I wanted.”
Indeed, Rodgers had pinpoint accuracy five days earlier in a win over the Cowboys. Overall, however, Rodgers’ accuracy numbers have declined since the injury. He completed 69.7% of his passes with eight touchdowns and three interceptions in the first five games of the season with the Packers at 3-2. In the next six, of which the Packers won just one, his completion rate dropped to 62% with 11 touchdowns and four interceptions.
However, Rodgers said he had other injuries that impacted his ability to throw more than this.
“When I hurt my knee in 2018, you throw from the floor up, so it was really hard on the footwork, planted leg,” Rodgers said. “When I broke my index finger in college it was probably a bit more important finger to deal with. I remember I was in training and Coach Tedford said, ‘I don’t care. from what hurts me, you have a day off and if you miss another day of training, you are the substitute again. So there was no choice.”
Unlike Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, who needed surgery to repair his fractured thumb earlier this season and missed five games, Rodgers said surgery was never considered and would not be. not necessary after the season unless something else happens.
“I do not know what [Prescott] had, but it probably wasn’t,” Rodgers said when asked if his injury was that serious.
Rodgers and the Packers had five days off before returning to the practice field Wednesday to prepare for Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
“I hope it helped his thumb,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur said. At 4-7, the Packers can ill afford many more – if any – losses and still have a shot at making the playoffs. Some compared it to the 2016 season, when the Packers were 4-6 heading to Philadelphia when Rodgers said he thought they could “manage the table.”
However, the Eagles team Rodgers & Co. faced six years ago was 5-5. This one is 9-1.
“I’m confident we’re going to come out and play well,” Rodgers said. “But I don’t think this is the last fight.”
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