By Joseph Gunther
The Green Bay Packers should not have a problem with Aaron Rodgers playing against the Dallas Cowboys Sunday at Lambeau Field in the divisional round playoff game. The MVP favorite played all about a handful of plays during the regular season.
Rodgers does not seem any worse Friday after practicing Thursday. There was never really any doubt of his availability for the game. But, if there were any concerns to his effectiveness, the team feels better about it.
He participated in 50 to 60 percent of the snaps during 11-on-11 drills, according to head coach Mike McCarthy. There will be one more practice for the team on Saturday this week.
“(Rodgers) came through the practice with everything OK (and) feels good today,” McCarthy said. “Obviously we’re not practicing today, but he’s progressing forward, and I feel he will be available for the game.”
The Packers are less concerned about the injury because of which leg is injured. It is far more important for him to have his right leg unaffected to throw the ball.
“It’s better than a right calf,” Packers quarterback coach Alex Van Pelt said. “As your plant foot, your right foot, it takes a lot of the pressure … anytime you have an injury to your plant leg, it’s difficult to drop.”
The biggest issue Rodgers may have is dropping back and putting pressure on the calf while backpedaling. They will likely use the shotgun and pistol formations for most, if not all of, Sunday’s game.
“He has that experience,” McCarthy said. “It’s been talked about. We have a game plan. He looks like he’s moving fine to me right now. We’re not going to change anything or our approach of how we want to attack Dallas’ defense.”
Whether or not Rodgers would play in the regular season with the injury is unknown. That is also something that McCarthy probably doesn’t want to think about.
“That’s a hypothetical,” McCarthy said. “We go through the same process. If medical staff thought he could go, he would go. No different than (the) Detroit Lions game. When I left the halftime locker room, I didn’t think he was playing.”
Tight end Brandon Bostick was taken off the injury report after missing Wednesday’s practice. He was listed on the report Thursday, but was a full participant.
The complete injury report
The Packers list safety Sean Richardson (knee) as questionable. They also list defensive end Josh Boyd (knee), cornerback Davon House (shoulder), Rodgers (calf) and guard Josh Sitton (toe) as probable.
The Cowboys list offensive tackle Doug Free (ankle) as doubtful. They also list linebacker Anthony Hitchens (ankle), linebacker Rolando McClain (knee/concussion), defensive tackle Terrell McClain (ankle) and defensive end Jeremy Mincey (concussion) as questionable. Cowboys list linebacker Bruce Carter (knee), tight end James Hanna (knee), guard Zack Martin (ankle), running back DeMarco Murray (hand), quarterback Tony Romo (back), defensive tackle Nick Hayden (shoulder) and safety Jeff Heath (thumb) as probable.
For more Packers news and updates, visit Packers Central.
Joseph Gunther is an avid fan of Minnesota sports, including football, hockey and baseball. He covered a wide variety of sports while attending Hastings College in Hastings, Neb. While at Hastings College, he was a part of the first collegiate media group to broadcast a national tournament via television, radio, internet and newspaper at the 2004 NAIA Division II Women's Basketball Tournament. He grew up in the Twin Cities playing three years of varsity football in high school. Joseph is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.
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