Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is not Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. There, I said it. Now don’t we all feel better? I didn’t think so.
There’s been a lot of chatter this week about Ryan’s credentials versus Rodgers’ credentials. Even if Ryan was objectively better by almost every statistical measure this year, Rodgers is undeniably one of the best, if not the best, to ever play quarterback in the NFL. His family just doesn’t like him.
But even the best NFL quarterback can’t play to his potential without his supporting cast. That may be Rodgers’ biggest weakness headed into Sunday’s game, but if you ask Packers head coach Mike McCarthy, “injuries” are just something we imagine. It’s all in our head.
"They’re still working," McCarthy said. "They’re mentally getting ready. This is an injury threshold all three of those guys have, Jordy, Davante and Geronimo. They all have three distinctly different injuries. In the regular-season mindset, I would think none of them would play in this game. But obviously this is a different time, this is a different point where we are in the season. Everybody understands what’s on the line here."
He says this despite Nelson telling the press earlier in the week that his broken ribs left him in the worse pain he’s ever experienced. That injury is only two weeks old. Two weeks! I can’t fathom the pain he’s going through. He isn’t practicing in pads, which means he hasn’t been cleared for contact. And he’s really just running a few drills, not “practicing” in the traditional sense.
The Packers offense has racked up 403 receptions this season. Nelson accounts for 97 of those. Adams and Allison account for 75 and 12 receptions respectively. Put simply, these guys matter, and so do their injuries.