Head coach Mike McCarthy confirmed that Aaron Rodgers will get some time on the field Saturday when the Green Bay Packers visit the St. Louis Rams for their second preseason game.
“Yes, he’s scheduled to play,” McCarthy said at his Wednesday press conference. (h/t Green Bay Press Gazette)
Rodgers has a couple of simple, clear goals for what will be his preseason debut on Saturday. He was held out of the preseason opener against the Tennessee Titans as a monsoon roared through Nashville, Tenn., for much of the game.
“I’d like to stay healthy,” Rodgers told Fox Sports Wisconsin. “That’s kind of the goal there. Last year we didn’t score a touchdown, so my No. 2 goal is to score a touchdown.”
Rodgers is bouncing back from his first injury-shortened campaign since he took over the starting job in Green Bay in 2008.
Rodgers missed seven games with a broken collarbone and the Pack was 2-4-1 in the games he missed.
They were 6-3 when he played.
In nine games, Rodgers completed 66.6 percent of his passes for 2,536 yards and 17 touchdowns with six interceptions, a passer rating of 104.9.
The other three Packer quarterbacks who started last year—Matt Flynn (2-2), Scott Tolzien (0-1-1) and Seneca Wallace (0-1)—combined to complete 61.8 percent for 2,002 yards and eight touchdowns and threw 10 interceptions, posting a combined passer rating of 78.0
That group also absorbed more sacks in seven games (24) than Rodgers did in nine (21).
So, yes, health is a key for Rodgers in 2014. But so too is getting prepared to play.
“Just to get into the rhythm and the flow of a real game, run the offense, obviously the way he always had when you give him some opportunities,” McCarthy said of his expectations for Rodgers on Saturday. “Really I’m more interested in what happens on the other side of his performance, particularly in the passing game. But Aaron, he needs to get out there and play just like we do every year.”
Rodgers is also welcoming the chance to get some game-speed reps with his new center, J.C. Tretter.
“It’ll be good to get out there with JC, get some reps with him and some timing with some of the receivers,” Rodgers said. “It’d be nice to take a couple of hits, maybe; legal hits. This is the time of year we’re trying to get to be playing the right way and get in and get out.”
Rodgers, now 30, has been as good as ever in training camp and McCarthy has been able to cut practice sessions short at times because the offense hasn’t had to repeat plays botched by mental mistakes.
Rodgers also reported to camp lighter than last season by about 11 pounds, crediting a combination of offseason workouts that included yoga and some dietary changes.
The Packers will hit the ground running once the regular season starts—they are the guests as Seattle celebrates its first Super Bowl championship on the opening Thursday night of the season Sept. 4.