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Monday, October 6, 2008
Black and Blue all over: Rodgers is a gamer


Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert

At about 8:30 a.m. Sunday morning, Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers walked into the team's indoor training facility for a throwing session that ultimately convinced coach Mike McCarthy that he should start against the Atlanta Falcons.

"I think Mike wanted to look into my eyes and see if I wanted to play," Rodgers said to reporters at Lambeau Field. "I told him, 'I want the ball. I want to be out there.' I just knew I was going to have to deal with the pain."

As Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette details, Rodgers took neither medication nor a pain-killing shot to help him through a 313-yard, three-touchdown passing day. In our coverage of Chicago's 34-7 victory Sunday over Detroit, we probably didn't devote enough space to what could be a career-defining moment for Rodgers.

"He's a special guy," defensive end Aaron Kampman said.

Rodgers' arm wasn't as live as normal, observed Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and he was in obvious discomfort in the fourth quarter of a 27-24 loss. But the Packers' injury-depleted defense had as much to do with the defeat as anything, and in the macho world of the NFL, Rodgers picked up some loyalty points by playing through a very uncomfortable situation Sunday.

Continuing around the NFC North: