Vikings: Healthy or not, Aaron Rodgers always a challenge

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Aaron Rodgers is questionable to play Sunday against the Vikings because of a sprained left knee. If he does play, the Green Bay quarterback’s mobility figures to be limited.

Could the Vikings take advantage of that?

“If he’s not (as mobile), definitely,” defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson said.

Rodgers hasn’t practiced all week and was listed on the injury report as questionable. But he could take the field for a workout Saturday, and afterward the Packers could update his status for Sunday’s game at Lambeau Field.

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer and defensive end Everson Griffen said this week they expect Rodgers, rather than backup DeShone Kizer, to start. Griffen wasn’t concerned Friday about how well Rodgers might be able to move.

“We still have to stick to our game plan and just do what we do,’’ Griffen said. “He’s a great player and he does really great things. We’ve got to start fast, finish fast and we’ve got to do all the right things.”

Rodgers was hurt in the second quarter last weekend against Chicago and was taken out on a cart. He returned in the second half and helped the Packers wipe out a 20-0 deficit in a 24-23 victory. He completed 20 of 30 passes for 286 yards and three touchdowns against Chicago.

The Bears, however, aren’t the Vikings, who have perhaps the NFL’s best defense.

“He wasn’t going against the Vikings’ defense but to come back from a 20-point deficit hurt is kind of impressive,’’ said nose tackle Linval Joseph.

Joseph said the Vikings know well that Rodgers has been effective with limited mobility in the past.

“Aaron Rodgers is Aaron Rodgers,” Joseph said. “Hurt or not hurt, he’s still an elite quarterback. We still have got to stay disciplined and do what we practice each and every down.

“We know what he can do when he’s healthy, and we’ve seen what he can do when he’s hurt. We’ve seen it all (over) his career. So, we’ve got to go in and do our job and make sure he doesn’t make big plays.”

Under Zimmer, Minnesota’s defense has bothered Rodgers. In the 2015 regular-season finale, the Vikings sacked him five times in a 20-13 win at Lambeau Field that wrapped up the NFC North. They again sacked him five times in a 17-14 victory at U.S. Bank Stadium in September 2016.

The last time Rodgers played a full game against the Vikings, he passed for four touchdowns and 347 yards in a 38-25 victory at Lambeau Field in December 2016.

Last October, Rodgers suffered a broken collarbone when hit by Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr in the first quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. He missed nine of the final 10 games in 2017, including Minnesota’s 16-0 win at Lambeau.

The Vikings intimidated San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garoloppo in a 24-16 last weekend at U.S. Bank Stadium. Facing constant pressure, Garoppolo was sacked three times and threw three interceptions.

The Vikings are aiming for more of the same in Green Bay, whether Rodgers is healthy or not.

“I’m not going to change my rush,” Richardson said, adding the Vikings need to “rush as a group, keep him contained in, guys win one-on-one matchups. It’s not rocket science.”

Source : https://www.twincities.com/2018/09/14/if-aaron-rodgers-plays-vikings-hope-to-take-advantage-of-qb-being-less-mobile/