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Packers' Aaron Rodgers fighting back tears in return to Lambeau

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Packers' Aaron Rodgers fighting back tears in return to Lambeau

-- It only took 322 days, but Aaron Rodgers finally stormed onto Lambeau Field as the Green Bay Packers' starting quarterback for the first time in 11 months.

Rodgers got the start Thursday night in the Packers' second preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, playing just five snaps on a drive that went 40 yards and ended with a touchdown pass to one of his newest tight end acquisitions, Jimmy Graham.

Not only did the touchdown culminate the drive, but Rodgers elusively slipped out of a would-be sack on one play and then caught the Steelers' defense with 12 men on the field the next.

He hadn't missed a beat.

"First, I gotta thank the fans," Rodgers said. "To be back at Lambeau was a thrill, and the ovation touched me. I had to wipe away some tears in my eyes."

Rodgers, 34, last quarterbacked a game for the Packers at home on September 28, 2017: a Thursday night meeting with the Chicago Bears. The following two games would be on the road -- in Dallas and Minnesota -- before Rodgers suffered a broken collarbone and would ultimately miss the remainder of the season.

The Packers opted to sit Rodgers for the preseason opener last week against the Tennesee Titans, and it's likely Thursday night's action against the Steelers will be his only playing time until the regular season opener on September 9.

"I know getting over 30, those of us over 30, I think that’s kind of a number where you start to get a little softer and things get to you a little bit. But that really meant a lot to me. I had to settle myself down a little bit and get into it with the throw to Davante [Adams]."

Rodgers' second pass was a quick drop where he hit Adams in stride, then Adams proceeded to turn upfield -- including burning past former Packers safety Morgan Burnett -- for a 27-yard gain.

"Just doing the stuff that we’ve done over the years, catching them with 12 on defense, getting us in third-and-manageable."

Rodgers and coach Mike McCarthy did discuss, at some point, whether or not to keep him in the game. The two obviously opted to hand the reins over to Brett Hundley, DeShone Kizer and Tim Boyle -- the three contenders for the backup quarterback position.

Just prior to kickoff, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Rodgers and the Packers are "creeping along towards a deal," and that both sides are still motivated to get it done. 

The Packers have been discussing what is expected to be the largest contract in NFL history with Rodgers' camp, and one that may provide him a new outlet of player control that deals of that nature typically don't have. The talks have been ongoing all offseason, however, with two years left on his deal, there isn't much of a rush.

Rodgers has made it clear that his focus is on the season ahead and performing at his highest level. Judging by his reaction to the fans' admiration for him running out onto the field Thursday night, it's easy to assume that Rodgers is plenty motivated to get the deal done as well when the time comes.

__________________________

Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (45) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Eric Hurm's picture

I think you mean starting quarterback, not cornerback....

The TKstinator's picture

What’s his 3 cone?

dobber's picture

...road construction?

The TKstinator's picture

How about:
Chocolate, vanilla, strawberry?

Zachary Jacobson's picture

cut me some slack, Eric.

Eric Hurm's picture

Just trying to help you out, no worries!

Oppy's picture

How is the appropriate way to alert writers to cases of overlooked editing errors?

Serious question.

It's not just amateur writing in today's world, either- professional outlets have eschewed the professional editorial process and it is now common place for writers to directly submit their own work for publication without a third party editor-by-trade ever looking over the piece, in an attempt to facility getting the work out quickly (and let's face it, not paying an editor.)

And the final product suffers.

The TKstinator's picture

I know some blogs have a feature called Private Messages that work kinda like email. I wonder if CHTV could add that.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

[email protected]. It is at the bottom of each page under "contact."

I am pretty sure that my everyday grammar is better than most people's grammar. I swear there is something about writing in these little boxes that causes me to miss obvious errors. Often I'll go edit some part and the first part of the sentence is no longer showing so I don't notice that I've messed up the subject-verb agreement. No excuse though, really.

Oppy's picture

Oddly enough, TGR, I speak like a complete heathen.
It is only when I write that anything remotely civilized flows forth, lol.
True story.

DraftHobbyist's picture

Why choose just one?

Nick Perry's picture

Rodgers looked good...Can't wait to see this offense in regular season!

Off Topic.... Gutekunst IMO needs to go sign Eric Reid. I know he's offended a lot of my friends here with his antics but after watching HHCD in the small amount of the game I've seen so far he just doesn't look good. He's playing way to soft and missed the tackle on that long TD run. Reid would have knocked him on his ass.

GBPDAN1's picture

I agree NP. The safety position looked weak yesterday. Blown assignments and poor tackling. Reid is better than what we have .

Also, we need a quality backup O-tackle. Depth at ILB is also concerning.

Vince Biegel is a disappointment as is Fackrell. Gilbert is a Godsend. Hope Williams is ok as we are getting thin at RB. Our TEs are studs. Keep Kumerow! Getting Daniel's and Perry back will be very beneficial. Didn't like seeing our starting D get run over on the Steelers first TD drive. I'm loving the Josh Jackson pick. A first round talent stolen in the 2nd rd

Turophile's picture

While I am pretty stoked to watch this years version of the Packer offense, It's the backup OT spot that concerns me most.

Problem is that the demand for decent OTs in the NFL far outstrips the supply. Many teams have to live with guys that are not nearly as talented as they would like..........which means the pickings for decent OTs out there and not on a team, are nil.

You might find an unheralded guy who plays surprisingly well, but he has to be a guy everyone else, including all of the NFLs most talented scouts, has missed...........not at all likely. The best hope we have if Bulage or Bakhtiari go down, is that MM has a scheme (like quick passes, or extra protection shifted to that side) to minimise the poor line play that will happen with a replacement.

BradHTX's picture

This. Like QB, when half the teams in the NFL can't field a quality starter, where do you find a quality backup? Having 32 teams simply dilutes the talent pool to the degree where all teams have weaknesses somewhere. If your starter goes down, it's some guy out of UWP: University of Wing and a Prayer.

4thand10's picture

back up QB..... “ Um yes, after high school and working on the unicorn ranch... I got my degree at UWP and played football” :-)

The TKstinator's picture

I think everyone is expecting a lot less blown assignments and miscommunications under Pettine. Gotta give it some time, but that’s my expectation.

porupack's picture

Its still preseason, but agree, I won't be able to defend HHCD much longer. I gave him benefit of the doubt last year as to the typical Capers- backfield confusion and constant personnel changes rather than the player.

So, this is also now the first test for Pettine, (and is top on my DC 'coach evaluation checklist'); can he get HHCD back to form, and get JJones coached up so we have a respectable safety duo? Its time Pettine, show some improvement over 2017. Yeah. Already. In practice. In preseason. In games. In your dreams. For breakfast.

Since '61's picture

Nick - I agree on HHCD. He looks like he's playing not to get hurt. Either that or he is too concerned over the lowering of the head rule or he is just bad. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt until the season begins but he is becoming a concern. Thanks, Since '61

RCPackerFan's picture

' Either that or he is too concerned over the lowering of the head rule or he is just bad.'

I have seen a quite a few DB's coming up on players and missing tackles now. I think its the lowering of helmet rule.
Brice did a similar thing in the game. I really think it is affecting a lot of players.

The TKstinator's picture

I think I know the exact play by Brice you are referring to. Was it a QB running with the ball and Brice got stiff armed?

Tundraboy's picture

Yes. A bold move we are rarely accustomed to ,but one that we should make.

WKUPackFan's picture

I think it is obvious that almost all Packers fans love AR, and that AR appreciates being in Green Bay.

The few haters here who rip on AR's fictitious contract demands, his lifestyle, etc. (mainly because they are jealous of his talent, money, and lifestyle) are in the distinct minority.

Oppy's picture

I am more critical of Rodger's on the field play than most here, but I still believe he is the best QB in the league, hands down.

I also think he's overly nit picky and I think it actually reduces the Packers net production (which is mind boggling to think about). But again.. he's still the best.

HoLeCrap's picture

Ya the fans were too as in why the hell didnt you throw the ball away last year and avoid being buried into the ground. Good luck with that shoulder, one more of those and your trade value will drop considerably.
LOL

Turophile's picture

You're saying Rodgers should let fans decide how he plays ?

Pardon me while I roll around on the floor laughing.

Since '61's picture

First off, Rodgers did release the ball accurately to that idiot Bennett and the play should have been a completion and a first down. Secondly, Barr's hit was a late hit and should have been flagged, not that it would have saved Rodgers from the injury. Thanks, Since '61

Tundraboy's picture

Perfectly stated! Especially loved that idiot Bennett part.

Oppy's picture

Rodgers needs to stop putting his hands out in attempts to break his falls. That's why he's had collar bone breaks. Keep your hands and arms tucked in and let your body (and your pads) absorb the fall.

Spock's picture

Oppy, I see your point, but WAY back to my first college days in the 70's my judo instructor had us practice slapping the mat with our arms when we hit the mat as it was a way to distribute the energy of the fall over your entire body and absorb more with your arms. Granted that was when falling mostly on your back, but it is a technique taught in martial arts and must have some historical basis for using. I think the angle that Arod landed at was more of the problem. Just my two cents.

Oppy's picture

Very odd, most contact sports you are taught not to catch your body with your arms out using your hands, but rather to roll. You risk incurring massive leverage against relatively weak, articulate joints- fingers, wrists, elbow. Up into the shoulder, and ultimately, the collar bone.

Both of Rodgers' collarbone injuries occurred from his putting his arm out and trying to catch his fall with his hands out, taking the brunt of the inertia straight up his arm and to his clavicle.

Particularly for a QB- protect your hands at all costs. Broken fingers or wrist doesn't do. Really, the whole throwing arm.

Harlan Huckleby's picture

Ok, nobody else comment on this story ‘cause we’re at exactly 12 comments... oh crap.

Since '61's picture

Some takeaways from last night's glorified practice.
1. Rodgers looked fine in his short time on the field. Preview of what is to come on TD pass to Graham.
2. We need better backups at OT if we can find any. At least one. Maybe someone gets cut at the end of preseason. Not likely but something must be done.
3. HHCD is playing like he does not want to get hurt. Maybe because it's still preseason, maybe it's the new lowering the head rule but he needs to play better when the games begin to count.
4. Josh Jackson is looking like a great draft pick but it is still the preseason.
4. Can we go 5 wide with all TEs? All of them looked good last night.
5. Hundley looks pretty good but Kizer is catching up.
6. I would like to see Kumerow play against starting CBs.
7. Would like to see our entire starting defense get on the field. Hopefully they will be ready by week one.
8. I didn't see any injuries last night unless someone was hurt after the 3rd quarter.

So far so good. Get and stay healthy guys. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since '61

dobber's picture

"6. I would like to see Kumerow play against starting CBs."

I think at this point that he's all but sewn up a roster spot, even against low-end competition. J'mon Moore probably didn't sleep well last night.

Kumerow or Allison or whichever player on the opposite side from Adams (when Graham isn't in that outside spot) should benefit strongly from single coverage. That player should have the opportunity to be productive.

"8. I didn't see any injuries last night unless someone was hurt after the 3rd quarter."

Apparently McCray went off with a calf injury. Severity unknown...but Lucas Patrick should be able to step in immediately, and there will be competition for that spot if the injury is more than just a kick or a mild strain/pull. Could be Bell's ticket to redeem himself.

Since '61's picture

Dobber - you make a good point about whoever is opposite Adams will get plenty of opportunities. Appreciate the info on McCray. Hopefully it’s minor. Thanks, Since ‘61

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

McCray caught a cleat in his calf. It is not serious, apparently. We already tried to find FA OT help. Looks like that might not work out. We can try again, but OTs who can play are difficult to find.

I suspect that Jmon can sleep soundly. Probably Davis and Allison should be sleeping fitfully.

The TKstinator's picture

My belief is that the bigger the player, the harder it is to find quality.
There are a lot more 200 pounders on earth than 300 pounders to begin with, so it stands to reason that a SKILLED 300 pounder is more rare than a smaller man.
I wish there was a street FA tree that Gutekunst could just go to and pluck one off any time he wanted to.
Maybe I’ll plant one in the Titletown district and make a million bucks.

Bure9620's picture

I don't believe any of this Kumerow chatter, he is a product of the "deep state" and his production is all fake and a conspiracy. Don't believe anything you hear. The "fake news" will continually talk about his accomplishments but its all fake! Don't believe the fake news or the deep conspiracy from 1265 Lombardi, only believe me!!

4thand1's picture

He is also an enemy of the fans.

LayingTheLawe's picture

Rodgers looked good and like he has a new best friend to just throw it up high for in the end zone

A game like this is easy to pick out who looked good with so many big plays. Kumerow, GIbert, Tramon.

On the uh oh side is that I know that no one wants to hear it but House was tight in coverage a few times and made a good 4th down stop.

On the negative side is that though the Packers have scored by the bucket fulls they have still not had anything even starting to look like a running game. Let's hope this is just due to the bad play of the backup offensive line or Rodgers is going to be this team's leading rusher.

Denise Chanterelle's picture

I listened to the entire game. It’s only preseason, but nonetheless was encouraged by the enthusiasm on the field. The next few weeks will be very interesting to see who makes the team. Is this our SB year? Go Pack!

Spock's picture

I watched the game this morning (1:00 a.m. as it was telecast here in Tucson at 11:00 last night) and I have to say it was one of the most 'exciting' (if I can use that word) preseason games I can remember watching. Love this team and love watching even the "glorified practices" of preseason games. From what I'm seeing in the comments it sounds like Kumerow's shoulder isn't a big deal?? I was concerned after the touchdown. If he's fine I can't believe he won't make the 53. The dude just keeps making plays. I can't remember watching as high a scoring game in preseason in the last few years. I wasn't thrilled with the seeming lack of run stoppage by the Packers but loved the two interceptions for pick sixes. This is going to be a really fun season to watch. :) :)

4thand10's picture
4thand10's picture

And let me say in spite of that OL, Rodgers looked like Houdini. His old self ...avoiding arm bars, disappearing/reappearing out of the mess to throw strikes. Fun to watch.

Oppy's picture

I was very encouraged by Josh Jackson seeming to find his comfort zone and looking like he definitely belongs in the NFL as a potential starter someday. I was happy to see Kumerow make not only another catch, but show some very savvy RAC to create separation in space and get into the endzone. Burks looks like stepping in and starting might not be to big for him. Etc and so forth.

Still... am I the only one who doesn't know exactly what to make of this 2018 Packers team? I feel like things could go any direction at this point.

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