A roundup of what’s happening on the Green Bay Packers beat.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers said earlier this week that he had no plans to watch the PBS special “League of Denial” -- a documentary on the NFL’s concussion issues -- that aired Tuesday night.
Rodgers said he spends Tuesday’s watching film of the upcoming opponent.
But he has made his stance known before about concussions, and he reiterated that during his weekly session with reporters in front of his locker on Wednesday.
“I know the risk that I’m taking playing this game,” said Rodgers, who sustained two concussions during the 2010 season. “I love this game. I’ve had a couple of concussions, I think the equipment we’re using is pretty cutting edge, and I’m confident in the helmet I’m wearing, the pads I’m wearing and my ability and wherewithal to get down when I need to.
“But concussions are part of our game; they have been for a long time. They’re talked about more because they’re diagnosed and talked about, obviously, more than they were 20 years ago. So, it’s part of the game, but I think the league is doing as much as they can from an equipment standpoint to make us safer.”
The documentary, which was based on a book by ESPN investigative reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru, was a hot topic around the NFL on Wednesday, and that included in the Packers’ locker room.
Earlier this season, after Packers tight end Jermichael Finley sustained a concussion, he spoke about his 5-year-old son who said: “Daddy, I don’t want you to play football anymore.”
In a story by Jason Wilde of ESPNWisconsin.com, Finley expanded on those comments and said: “I don’t think my son will play (football).”
Our ESPN.com coverage included a look at how the loss of linebacker Clay Matthews to a broken thumb not only will hurt the Packers’ pass rush but also may impact their ability to make big plays against the run, and we also examined why Matthews couldn’t play without surgery. The daily injury report explained how thin the Packers are at linebacker, where Brad Jones also won’t play this week. Also, we looked at the key to kicker Mason Crosby’s remarkable turnaround this season and broke down the third-and-1 pass plays that failed in Sunday’s game against the Lions.
Rodgers is back in the MVP Watch, a weekly feature from ESPN’s Dan Graziano.
At ESPNWisconsin.com, Sarah Barshop profiled Jamari Lattimore, who will make his first NFL start on Sunday against the Ravens in place of the injured Jones.
In the Green Bay Press-Gazette, Weston Hodkiewicz profiled Mike Neal, who is looking to take advantage of increased playing time he will receive in Matthews’ absence, and Mike Vandermause’s notebook led with a look at the Packers’ drop in red zone production.