Aaron Rodgers's torn left calf muscle was supposed to limit the All-Pro Green Bay Packers quarterback in last week’s divisional round matchup. Instead, Rodgers torched the Dallas Cowboys by going 24-for-35 for 316 yards and three touchdowns in a 26-21 victory.
For nearly the last month, Rodgers health has been a question mark for the Packers but he’s continued to play, and play well, carrying the team to the NFC North title and its first postseason victory in two years with six touchdowns to no interceptions in their last three games.
Considering his consistent production, just how hurt is Rodgers really heading into Sunday’s NFC Championship against the Seattle Seahawks?
For one, the Packers and Rodgers haven’t seemed too concerned and didn’t really exercise much caution until the very end of the regular season. Though he suffered a calf strain in Week 15 of the regular season, Rodgers wasn’t added to the Packers official injury report until Week 17. And the team didn’t even know the full extent of his injury until days before the date with the Cowboys.
On the other hand, a recent eye test would indicate Rodgers is lumbering through a painful injury that should technically limit his overall effectiveness in the pocket. He was noticeably limping against the Cowboys, and didn’t seem nearly as spry when given the opportunity to scramble.
The Seahawks trio of Pro Bowl defensive backs, however, doesn’t believe Rodgers is hurt all that bad. In fact, even if Rodgers was hurt, his presence simply on the field is enough to worry them.
“I'm not really concerned with his hobbly or wobbly calf, whatever," Seattle safety Kam Chancellor told reporters. "I'm concerned about Aaron Rodgers. If he's in that game, no matter how he's feeling, he's still Aaron Rodgers. He's capable of making plays. He's capable of getting the ball downfield, getting it to his receivers and just running their offense.
“You've got to respect a guy like that. No matter what's wrong with him, you can't doubt him or say that it's going to be a little different because he's hobbly and wobbly.
"You got to go in there and expect anything. You don't want any surprises, so just go in with that mentality and you won't be surprised.”
But who plays behind Rodgers is just as important to Green Bay’s cause. Running back Eddie Lacy, who’s gained 1,139 yards and nine touchdowns this season, was limited in practice all week with a knee injury, according to the team’s official site.
Lacy is listed as probable, and his limited participation was likely just head coach Mike McCarthy’s way of getting his top rusher some extra rest before he faces a Seahawks defense ranked third against the run this season.
McCarthy also cut down guard Josh Sitton’s (toe) practice reps this week, but he’s also probable. Appearing in 11 games and starting two this season, Sitton’s been listed on the team’s report with the same injury since Week 10.
Defensive tackle/end Josh Boyd (ankle) was the only player on the Packers injury report to move up from limited to full practice reps during the week. He’s only recorded 19 tackles this season, but Boyd does help draw some attention away from Green Bay’s top pass rushers Julius Peppers and Clay Matthews.