Friday , 19 April 2024
Home » Sports » Aaron Rodgers playing Thursday would be ‘huge stretch’ : Reports
Aaron Rodgers playing Thursday would be ‘huge stretch’ : Reports
Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers playing Thursday would be ‘huge stretch’ : Reports

GREEN BAY, Wis. — When Mike McCarthy sent out invitations for Thanksgiving at Ford Field, Aaron Rodgers was not on the list.

As much as Rodgers wants to be a part of the festivities, McCarthy and his medical advisers have told the Green Bay Packers quarterback that chances of him having a seat at the table are “slim and none.”

McCarthy said a progress report reviewed in a meeting with Rodgers and the medical staff showed that he’s not ready to return from a broken collarbone. The way McCarthy put it, Rodgers wants to play, but he has not hit all of his targets in rehab and “it would be a huge stretch for him to play in this game.”

At the same time McCarthy made Rodgers’ status clear, he did not reveal the positions Matt Flynn and Scott Tolzien will take when the Packers holiday at the home of the Detroit Lions on Thursday.

Instead of naming Flynn his starting quarterback as many people expected in light of Tolzien’s benching and Flynn’s productive relief appearance, McCarthy held off, saying he wanted both players prepared to play in what could be a deciding game in the NFC North title race.

“I’ll be honest, the conversation we had as an offensive staff last night and again this morning is, we’ve got to get two quarterbacks ready,” McCarthy said in his Monday news conference. “This experience that we’ve gone through the last four weeks with a different (quarterback) in four straight games, we’re taking a hard look at our preparation.

“Who has the ball at the beginning of the game, we’ll let you know down the line. I have no announcements on that yet today.”

McCarthy already might have made his decision and may be trying to keep the Lions guessing. But neither Tolzien nor Flynn said they had been told who would start, and guard T.J. Lang swore that he didn’t know either.

If you take McCarthy at his word, the indecision just might be based on the game plan on which the coaches were working Monday. Flynn had success running the no-huddle against the Vikings, but with the Packers set to play four days after a five-quarter effort, they might not be in a position to play at that pace.

Then there’s the matter of the Lions’ 28th-ranked pass defense.

Detroit has given up 12 completions of 40 or more yards this season, tied for third-most in the NFL. It ranks 29th in sacks (20), tied for sixth in most passing touchdowns (21) and passing first downs (147) allowed and eighth in most pass interference penalties (eight).

Tolzien did not play well against Minnesota, but the week before he tore apart the New York Giants for 339 yards passing, completing five passes for 25 or more yards, including two for 40 or more. In 10 quarters of play, he has 13 completions of 20 or more yards.

Flynn does not have Tolzien’s arm strength, and while he completed 21 of 38 passes for 218 yards and a touchdown, he rarely drove his throws down the field. He completed three passes of 20 or more yards, but one was a badly underthrown ball receiver James Jones came back for and another traveled 8 yards past the line of scrimmage before Jones turned it into a 22-yard gain.

Flynn’s best throw was a heave down the left sideline that receiver Jarrett Boykin caught for a 34-yard gain.

“There are a lot of good things the offense did yesterday,” McCarthy said. “Matt Flynn, I thought did an excellent job coming in based on his preparation to perform on Sundays. Game plans don’t always go the way you want. We got into a deal here where we were doing things we’re not even practicing.

“So that’s what we’re taking a hard look at, is if we can kind of bridge the gap of, I don’t want to say being more conservative, (but) making sure Matt’s ready. Matt played very well. He deserves to start. I like the way Scott has grown. So those are the things we’re talking about.”

Tolzien had no answer as to why he was so inaccurate against the Vikings (7 of 17 for 98 yards), but it’s possible he didn’t play with the same looseness after being reminded all week that he can’t throw three interceptions again as he did against the Giants.

“I don’t know if there’s a magic formula or anything like that,” Tolzien said of regaining his accuracy. “I just have to keep getting better. It sounds like a broken record, but that’s what I believe in. That’s how I was raised. That’s how I know to be successful, just keep getting better from my footwork to the reads to the offense and everything in between.”

If McCarthy were to start Tolzien and lose against the Lions, Packers fans would want his head on a platter, but only he and his coaches see what goes on in practice when the game plan is put in.

One thing McCarthy can be confident in is that Flynn will be able to do anything he asks of him. Flynn said he has spent the past three years trying to unlearn McCarthy’s offense because it came so naturally to him and now that he’s back everything is coming back quickly.

Flynn did not commit a turnover against the Vikings, ran the no-huddle offense, twice getting the Vikings to jump offsides with a hard count and spread the ball around. He was not sacked and led the offense on scoring drives of 80, 76, 60 and 77 yards.

McCarthy was forced to fish through his play sheet Sunday to find plays that Flynn would be comfortable running and then tailor them into a game plan that attacked the Vikings’ weaknesses. There were fewer play-action passes down the field and more quick-hitting rhythm throws.

“I think he definitely wanted to be sure to call plays that I was familiar with, had run before and was comfortable with,” Flynn said. “And they kind of know things throughout the week of stuff, they always have plans for if something was to happen.

“They kind of knew what I was comfortable with going into the game and tried to scratch out as much as possible, that I didn’t feel 100 percent with.”

Should McCarthy pick Flynn he’ll have to consider the Lions’ knowledge of Flynn’s average arm and find a way to make them pay for keying on running back Eddie Lacy. He also has to get him as many snaps as possible in a week in which practice will be more like a walk-through.

Asked if getting two quarterbacks ready in a short week would result in no quarterbacks getting ready, Flynn said it wouldn’t affect him.

“You always have to get two quarterbacks ready to go,” Flynn said. “I don’t know what that means reps-wise. I don’t even know if we’re going to have a full practice this week. But I’ll be ready if I take 0 percent, 100 percent, 50 percent. I’ll be ready to roll.”


  • About News

    Web articles – via partners/network co-ordinators. This website and its contents are the exclusive property of ANGA Media Corporation . We appreciate your feedback and respond to every request. Please fill in the form or send us email to: [email protected]

    Leave a Reply