Back in starting lineup after tumultuous 13 days in which he tested positive for COVID-19, was skewered for his take on the vaccine, missed last week’s game in Kansas City and returned just in time for Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks, the Green Bay Packers star quarterback experienced some excitement off Lambeau Field on Sunday night.
“Lots of emotions, for sure,” he said following a 17-0 win over the Seahawks. “It’s good to be back with the guys, it’s good to be back home, it’s good to be on the pitch, really. Probably the most emotional part of the whole night was getting off the pitch after the game. It definitely got me a little foggy. It was good to feel those kinds of emotions and it was good to be back with the guys.In numbers, Rodgers had a quality game. He completed 23 of 37 passes (62.2%) for 292 yards. However, the Packers only went 2 of 5 in the red zone, one of those failures being a third quarter interception. And the team couldn’t put the Seahawks away without a punch before the game was over.
Still, a win is a win, and Green Bay (8-2) beat Seattle for the 10th consecutive time at Lambeau Field.
This is the result he anticipated when he tested positive for COVID-19. By testing positive for COVID last Wednesday, he knew he could play on Sunday.“I did the math and thought, one, I must be healthy, and then, two, that would be one of those weird weeks where you don’t work out all week and try to get out. and play, ”Rodgers mentioned. ” I’ve already done it. I did it my first year against Atlanta [in 2008] when my shoulder was killing me. I haven’t practiced all week, I used it on Sunday morning and managed to finish the game. “But that’s obviously not the most desirable way to spend a week or to prepare. But I stayed ready. I was in all the meetings and in all the conversations. I had excellent phone calls with the standard night calls with [offensive coordinator Nathaniel] Hackett and [quarterbacks coach Luke] Getsy et Matt [LaFleur]. So I was in the know all the time, but I knew it might be a little different at first, because I kind of got into the plan and into the calls. With the lack of preparation, Rodgers struggled, especially early in the game. In opening practice, Marquez Valdes-Scantling was open for what could have been a 61-yard touchdown. Instead, the ball was knocked down and Valdes-Scanting won 41. It was a seven-point error because the drive stopped and Mason Crosby missed a 42-yard field goal.
The third practice ended with Rodgers’ deep shot on Allen Lazard who was knocked down and broken. The fourth drive stalled on second and third goal failures; Crosby’s 27-yard field goal made it 3-0. The fifth practice ended with cornerback Tre Brown blasting Lazard to break a fourth and 2 pass.
That Rodgers wasn’t sharp shouldn’t come as a big surprise. Last week, he felt symptoms of COVID on Tuesday, tested positive, hasn’t practiced all week, and hasn’t played in Kansas City. This week, he did not train all week, was allowed to return on Saturday morning and led the tour.
That was all about the in-person preparation.
“Not ideal for sure, being on Zoom all week,” he said. “The best thing for me to prepare is to be able to rehearse the pieces in practice and then the reviews. You hear them two, three or four times and it kind of becomes second nature. You can almost finish Matt’s sentence [LaFleur]. «Of course, Rodgers was physically affected by missing six practices and one game. He was also mentally affected. Rodgers generally has a lot of leeway on the line of scrimmage. The “can” games —LaFleur calls a game that can be changed to something else – and the outright audibles have been mostly eliminated. Normally, Rodgers would hate to be handcuffed to this point. This time he thought the limitations had helped him settle in.
“It’s definitely not ideal,” he said. “It will be good to spend a full week next week. “
Rodgers was fined last week for failing to mask himself at press conferences in the media auditorium. Presumably on Sunday, he had the choice of speaking in person with a mask or speaking via Zoom. He chose the latter.
His comments lacked their usual vigor. He spoke for about 19 minutes and didn’t smile until the 18th minute, when he pointed out that “we are not a defensive football team yet”, even though it was the defense that made the move. heavy work.” I am happy. I am so tired. It’s been a long, long 10 days, ”he said. “I felt good on the pitch, but it’s been a few weeks since I played there. So, it was fun to be back and I’m excited for our guys, I really am.
Rodgers looked like a man ready to move on and get back to normal. His stance on vaccines has been heavily criticized by some fans and most blue ticks on Twitter. Everyone had a catch. NFL legend Terry Bradshaw said Rodgers “lied to everyone”. Basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar said Rodgers had “damaged professional sport”. Rodgers’ point of view was even brought up during a White House press briefing.“Everyone has an opinion, and I understand that this is a very polarizing issue for some people, but I am only focusing on the support that I received and it was deep and broad, and greatly appreciated,” said Rodgers. “There will always be criticism in this world. I don’t define myself by criticism, but I understand that this is part of it because this question is definitely polarizing. I am so grateful to everyone who reached out.
On Sunday he was back with the team and back in familiar surroundings and back to winning soccer games. He was grateful to his teammates, coaches and the front office for watching him while he was gone. He left the field with Preston Smith, who Rodgers said checked him every day for 10 days.“I just don’t take these things for granted,” Rodgers said. “Get out of the field by winning. It’s fun to beat this team. We have had battles over the years. Going out with Preston, who I love and appreciate so much, and then hearing that type of response from the crowd, it was a little more special today.