After a topsy-turvy few weeks, is Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers ready to play in Week 12 against the Rams despite a toe injury? After Rodgers did not participate during practice this week, what is his latest status, and how has he performed this season?
Update: Aaron Rodgers is active for the Packers’ Week 12 game.
Is Aaron Rodgers playing against the Rams despite his toe injury?
When you look at the Packers’ injury report in Week 12, the message regarding Rodgers’ injury is somewhat confusing. The reigning MVP did not participate in practice all week. Still, he’s not listed with an injury designation for Week 12, which is somewhat unusual.
The reason is that Rodgers’ toe injury is something he can play through, but the team does not want to risk him aggravating it in practice. Rodgers caused a social media storm this week when he showed his foot to the media on a Zoom call, revealing his toe was fractured. He’s expected to play in Week 12, barring a setback between now and kickoff.
It has been a mixed season for Rodgers in 2021
Through the first eight weeks of the season, Rodgers was performing well. He completed 67% of his passing attempts and had 1,894 passing yards, 17 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions. Those numbers did not rival his MVP numbers from the year before. Nevertheless, they did help lead the Packers to a 7-1 record with seven straight victories.
Subsequently, leading into Week 9, Rodgers tested positive for COVID-19, and it was reported he was unvaccinated. That meant Rodgers missed the game and could only return to the team on Saturday ahead of Week 10. He struggled somewhat on his return, but the Packers still managed to win against the Seahawks.
It all clicked into gear in the second half of last week
After Rodgers appeared on the injury report in Week 11 with the toe injury, many felt it was an excuse to get him more rest. However, on Sunday morning, NFL Network reported that the toe injury was a major concern that Rodgers would have to manage.
Rodgers then struggled in the first half against the Vikings. It took the Packers until the final minute of the half to score their first touchdown of the game. In the first half, Rodgers went 13-of-22 for 186 passing yards and a touchdown. However, after the half, he seemed to work out how to play despite the toe injury.
In the second half, Rodgers completed 10 of 11 passes for 199 yards and 3 touchdowns. He averaged 18.1 yards per pass attempt and was virtually perfect the entire half. If we also include the final drive of the first half, he went 15-of-18 for 276 yards and 4 touchdowns during that stretch.
The interesting thing now will be whether that was Rodgers working out how to play through the injury or him simply working out the Vikings’ defense. In Week 12, the Rams will present a markedly different challenge. With Von Miller, Aaron Donald, and Jalen Ramsey headlining the defense, Rodgers will need to be at his very best to have success.