Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Fall gave Rodgers' confidence in collarbone
By Rob Demovsky
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Aaron Rodgers had a pretty good idea that his mended collarbone would hold up in his return last Sunday against the Chicago Bears.
And it wasn't because the Green Bay Packers quarterback, who missed the previous seven-plus games because of the injury, got battered around in practice last week.
"Ever since I tried to shovel my driveway and actually slipped on some ice, I had a pretty good feeling I was going to be able to fall and not have some major issues," Rodgers said Tuesday on his ESPN Milwaukee radio show. "Thankfully, no one in my neighborhood was out there watching or videoing me because that would have been great YouTube material."
Rodgers said he fell on his back while shoveling but was not hurt.
"I was wearing my Chuck Norris shirt, though, so I felt like that kind of gave me some sort of protection," Rodgers joked.
That said, Rodgers did admit to being conscious early in the game about taking any unnecessary hits, which explains why he slid early on a second-down scramble on the game's opening drive. On the Packers' game-winning drive, however, Rodgers showed no hesitation on a third-down scramble in which he drove forward for the first down.
He called that play "purely reactionary."
While he did not experience any issues with his collarbone, he said his calf muscles cramped up during the final drive and still were a little tight.
In discussing his return, which helped the Packers win the NFC North and advance into Sunday's NFC wild-card playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers at Lambeau Field, Rodgers reiterated that he didn't feel rusty and -- take note Greg Jennings and Donald Driver -- took responsibility for both of the interceptions he threw.
"Yeah, they were both on me," said Rodgers, who was criticized by Jennings and Driver for not taking the blame -- even if it wasn't his fault -- for interceptions in the past.
A day after Packers coach Mike McCarthy called Rodgers' game-winning, 48-yard touchdown pass to Randall Cobb with 38 seconds remaining Rodgers' "finest hour," the quarterback said that as far as a regular-season game, it was "probably right at the top."