NFL

Rodgers says Packers' 9-3 run has defied expectations amid adversity

By Sports Desk November 30, 2021

Reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers says the Green Bay Packers have defied expectations amid more injuries than ever, meaning their 9-3 record "feels pretty good".

The Packers are top in the NFC North ahead of their Week 13 bye where Rodgers, who has thrown 2,878 yards for 23 touchdowns this season, will get the chance to rest a niggling toe issue.

Green Bay's impressive run has come amid injury issues to cornerback Jaire Alexander, center Josh Myers, outside linebacker Za'Darius Smith and offensive tackle David Bakhtiari, while star wide receiver Davante Adams tested positive to COVID-19 last month.

"I think we've been dealing with as many injuries as we've had throughout the years," Rodgers said during an appearance on The Pat McAfee show. "A lot of important players, starters on IR, no chance to return and some with a chance.

"Bakhtiari obviously had an opportunity, not sure when that will do. Jaire, hoping him. Za'Darius who knows? Josh Myers up in the air.

"There's a lot of those and then you have the weekly injuries we've had with Kevin King and Aaron Jones. [The bye] definitely comes at a good time.

"For us to be 9-3, not many people expected that looking at our schedule and what we've dealt with this year with Davante being out with COVID and all the injuries up front and on the defensive side of the ball, that feels pretty good."

Rodgers has been in the thick of the news, with his immunisation revelation before testing positive to COVID-19, along with his tongue-in-cheek remark about "COVID toe", all the while his side have claimed good wins against the likes of the Los Angeles Rams, Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers.

"It hasn’t been a quiet 12 weeks," he added. "I'm very happy with where we're at. Very happy to have gotten off to the star that we've gotten off to. Happy we've faced some adversity and we're moving through it and close to the other side of it."

The Packers defeated the Rams 36-28 on Sunday, with Rodgers throwing two touchdown passes, as well as completing one rushing TD.

Adams, who has five touchdowns for the season including two in Week 11 in the 34-31 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, had eight receptions against the Rams for 104 yards but no touchdowns.

"He has a lot of freedom which he should because he has such a great release pattern and he's such a smart guy," Rodgers said about Adams. "It's not like he's going outside the schematic things but he's making decisions that might not be the expected paper decisions, when you’re looking at it on paper.

"There's paper routes and there's do-whatever-you-want routes for Davante. He did it last week against Minnesota on the second touchdown, he ad-libbed that route, that's why I was a bit late getting to him.

"Normally I have a pretty good sense. You've got to read body movements. Also our conversations are very high level when it comes to those situations."

Related items

  • Minnesota Vikings to hire Kwesi Adofo-Mensah as GM Minnesota Vikings to hire Kwesi Adofo-Mensah as GM

    The Minnesota Vikings will appoint the Cleveland Browns' vice president of football operations Kwesi Adofo-Mensah as their new general manager, according to widespread reports.

    Minnesota's pursuit of a new GM appears to be nearing its conclusion, with ESPN and NFL Network reporting that Adofo-Mensah - who the franchise confirmed was one of the names being interviewed - has been chosen to take on the role at U.S. Bank Stadium.

    Adofo-Mensah will replace Rick Spielman, who was fired two weeks ago after 16 years in the role along with head coach Mike Zimmer after the Vikings ended their season with an 8-9 record, their second straight losing campaign.

    The Vikings have been unable to kick on since reaching the NFC Championship Game in the 2017 season. They have not topped the NFC North since then, despite spending big to bring in Kirk Cousins at quarterback.

    Other candidates interviewed included Monti Ossenfort from the Tennessee Titans, John Spytek from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Catherine Raiche and Brandon Brown from the Philadelphia Eagles, Eliot Wolf from the New England Patriots, Glenn Cook from the Cleveland Browns and Ryan Poles, who has since taken the GM role at the Chicago Bears.

    Adofo-Mensah spent the last two seasons at the Browns working under GM Andrew Berry after seven seasons as the San Francisco 49ers' manager and then director of football research and development.

    The 40-year-old will be responsible for finding the successor to Zimmer, with 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans, who Adofo-Mensah worked with in San Francisco, among those who have already been interviewed for the role.

  • Wolves confirm Hwang Hee-chan to join the club permanently Wolves confirm Hwang Hee-chan to join the club permanently

    South Korea international Hwang Hee-chan will join Wolves permanently at the end of the season, the Premier League club has confirmed.

    Hwang initially joined on a season-long loan from Bundesliga side RB Leipzig and agreed personal terms on a deal before arriving in England.

    Wolves have now activated a clause to make the move permanent from July for a fee reportedly in the region of £12million.

    The deal will run to 2026 and was confirmed by the club's website on the player's 26th birthday.

    The former Salzburg forward made an impactful start at Wolves, scoring four goals in his first six Premier League games, including his first strike just 20 minutes into his debut after coming off the bench in the 2-0 win at Watford in September.

    He has failed to find the net since scoring the opener in the 1-1 draw at Leeds United in October, however, and has not played since sustaining a hamstring injury in the 1-0 win at Brighton last month.

     

    Hwang first came to prominence at Salzburg during the 2019-20 season, playing in an attack that included Erling Haaland, Takumi Minamino and Patson Daka, before signing for RB Leipzig for around €9m in 2020.

    However, he only managed three goals and four assists in 29 appearances across all competitions for Die Roten Bullen – albeit only five of those were starts.

    Wolves technical director, Scott Sellars, was delighted to confirm the news and told the club's website: "He's had a really positive affect on not only the team, but also the whole football club, and he's been a fantastic addition to Wolves.

    "We could see straight from our first meeting with him that Hee-chan is such a focused and determined young man who wants to be successful in his football career.

    "He's not had the experiences he would have liked at Leipzig and he wanted a change, and he's grabbed his opportunity here in the Premier League with both hands. He's shown a lot of determination, a lot of focus and certainly a lot of professionalism every day, and he's got his rewards in terms of his performances and his goals."

  • Gronkowski on plans to continue NFL career: 'Right now, it would be no' Gronkowski on plans to continue NFL career: 'Right now, it would be no'

    Rob Gronkowski is seriously considering retiring for a second time after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' season was ended by the Los Angeles Rams.

    The Bucs' bid to win back-to-back Super Bowls was brought to a dramatic halt when the Rams won a thrilling Divisional Round showdown 30-27 at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday.

    Tight end Gronkowski scored two touchdowns when Tampa Bay beat the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV last February, but there will be no repeat this year.

    The 32-year-old is a free agent and that loss to the Rams may prove to be his last NFL game amid uncertainty over whether the Bucs' legendary quarterback Tom Brady will prolong his incredible career.

    Gronkowski quit in 2019 before coming out of retirement to join Brady in Tampa Bay the following year and says he is unsure whether he will play again.

    "If they're like, 'Rob, you've got to decide right now, right this second if you're playing next year,' I would say no right now. It's two days after the season," he told TMZ.

    "I would be like, 'No, I'm not playing.' ... You've got to give it some time. You've got to rest. I would say to see how everything goes, how everything plays out.

    "If I had an answer right now, it would be no. But in three weeks, it might be yes."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.