Sweet Home, Chicago — Aaron Rodgers Finds Motivation
Aaron Rodgers discovered health and pleasure at Soldier Field nine years ago during a contest that is still among his best performances in Chicago.
It remains to be seen if the Green Bay Packers quarterback can have another such game-changing play against the Chicago Bears on Sunday, with his team’s season hanging in the balance.
However, in 2013, after recovering from a broken left collarbone, Rodgers produced one of the moments that would define his career. He orchestrated a last-second touchdown drive that not only won the game on a fourth-down, 48-yard pass to Randall Cobb but also secured the NFC North and advanced the Packers to the postseason.
There won’t be as much drama after Sunday’s clash because there are still four games left. Nevertheless, since Rodgers is now playing despite having a fractured thumb and wounded ribs, you can bet that going up against the Bears and their supporters is helping him recover and stay motivated.
Rodgers departed last Sunday’s loss in Philadelphia with a severe injury, forcing him to watch the final minutes on a TV in the visitors’ locker room. Despite saying he felt “a little better,” he did not practice on Wednesday. However, he “tossed some balls around” to check how throwing felt.
Rodgers left last Sunday’s loss in Philadelphia with a severe injury, forcing him to watch the final minutes on a TV in the visitors’ locker room. Despite saying he felt “a little better,” he did not practice on Wednesday. However, he “tossed some balls around” to check how throwing felt.
In addition, Rodgers declined to discuss the injury’s specifics, declining to confirm whether he had fractured any ribs against the Eagles. Rodgers responded, “Possibly,” adding that he was “just happy I avoided a serious injury.” When asked if there was rib cartilage damage, which Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert attempted to play through earlier this season, Herbert said, “I’m just happy I avoided a major injury.”
Rodgers said when asked if he would wear additional padding to protect his ribs, “I haven’t worn rib pads since college. I’m unsure if I want to begin right away. But I’ll almost certainly be hiding it with something.
Rodgers claimed to be “certainly progressing” and “feeling better than I anticipated I was going to feel on Wednesday, which gives me the hope I can go out and practice and see how I feel,” according to pool work with athletic trainer Nate Weir, the team’s director of rehabilitation and return to play. I’ve been very heartened by the past few days.
There will undoubtedly be some pain, but nothing I can’t handle. I am therefore extremely encouraged by how I am feeling.
Rodgers stated that he plans to practice at least once, if not both Thursday and Friday. He did, however, leave little question that he will be fit to play on Sunday at Soldier Field, where he famously mocked Bears supporters last season by yelling, “I own you, I still own you!” following a rushing score.
Rodgers’ determination to play, according to Packers coach Matt LaFleur, “just speaks to how competitive he is, how much he’s engaged into this game, this team, regardless of circumstances.”
According to Rodgers, the Packers-Bears game and his performance as an owner don’t even place in the top five Packers-Bears memories. It ranks well behind winning the 2010 NFC Championship Game to secure a spot in Super Bowl XLV, the 2013 Cobb touchdown, and a pivotal 60-yard pass to Jordy Nelson on third-and-11 with less than 30 seconds remaining to set up a game-winning Mason Crosby field goal in a 2016 victory that extended that Packers team’s winning streak.
“I’ve participated in a lot of these games and have appreciated the rivalry over the years. Rodgers, whose teams are 24-5 (including playoffs) in games he’s started versus the Bears, said: “I guess I’ve been in 18 years plus a playoff game; this will be the 37th I’ll be a part of. And I liked all of them. It has a lengthy history and is a fierce competition. Although I’m glad to be on this side of it, I have many happy memories of Soldier Field.
Meanwhile, Rodgers reiterated his desire to play as long as the Packers are in playoff contention but admitted the team may want him to step aside so the coaching and personnel staff can get a longer in-game look at backup Jordan Love, who performed admirably in his 10 snaps after Rodgers was injured against the Eagles.
Rodgers has only failed to complete a season once, in 2017. That year, he recovered from a broken right collarbone but had to go back on injured reserve following a defeat against Carolina. The team stopped using Rodgers because the playoffs were out of reach.
In 2018, even though the Packers were eliminated from playoff contention when Mike McCarthy was fired with four games remaining, Rodgers continued to play until sustaining a concussion early in the team’s season finale versus Detroit.
On December 29, 2013, in Chicago, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and wide receiver Randall Cobb celebrated after their game-winning touchdown hookup secured the NFC North championship.
“Look, I really want to complete the season. I am aware that this is a business, though,” Rodgers remarked. “There are many of us older guys who play a fair amount, and they might want to watch some younger guys play,” said the older players.
“I hope we won’t need to have that discussion. But if the subject of that talk comes up, I’ll approach it with an open mind and no ill will. Naturally, as I said, I want to prevail, so we don’t need to have those discussions. I am aware that the prospect of having that talk exists if we don’t.
In response to a question about whether it would make sense to sit out this game in order to recover from his injuries before next season, Rodgers, who has not yet declared his intention to play in 2023, said: “I mean, that’s an assumption that this place won’t look any different next year. Again, that is part of the conversation.”