GREEN BAY – Aaron Rodgers said he might consider altering how he plays after his latest broken collarbone, but the Green Bay Packers two-time MVP quarterback didn’t commit to any changes.
It’s worth reflecting after the second broken collarbone in Rodgers’ career. Both injuries, it could be argued, would not have happened with most quarterbacks. In 2013, Rodgers broke his left collarbone against the Chicago Bears after being tackled while scrambling. Three weeks ago, he broke his right collarbone after rolling from the pocket.
In both cases, Rodgers’ ability to extend plays proved costly. So while Rodgers’ timetable for recovery is the preeminent question surrounding the quarterback, it isn’t the only one.
Does Rodgers, who will be 34 the next time he takes a snap, need to play more within the pocket to extend his own longevity?
“Good question,” Rodgers said after pausing to consider. “I haven’t thought about that a whole lot, but what comes to mind right away is no. But I might need to think about that the next eight weeks.”
It would be a fine balance. Rodgers’ play extensions have separated him from other quarterbacks. With 2,627 career rushing yards, Rodgers is fewer than 30 from surpassing longtime Detroit Lions quarterback Greg Landry for a top-10 spot all-time among quarterbacks.
Rodgers’ legs can be even more dangerous as a passer. Many of the biggest plays in coach Mike McCarthy’s offense come when Rodgers buys time outside the pocket.
So it’s no surprise Packers coaches are leery of Rodgers significantly changing his game, even if it averts risk.
McCarthy declined to comment Saturday morning when asked whether his quarterback should alter his playing style. A day earlier, quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt said “there’s a lot of ways to skin a cat” in reference to quarterback play, but he doesn’t believe Rodgers should eliminate his extensions.
“His game outside of the pocket is tremendous,” Van Pelt said, “and I don’t think you’d want to take that away from him. We’ve just got to encourage him not to take hits. Now obviously that one was out of his control – both of them were – but that’s a big part of what he does.”