GREEN BAY — Quarterback Aaron Rodgers acknowledged Wednesday that the thumb on his right throwing hand was broken, following an injury during the Week 6 loss to the New York Giants. While Rodgers has hinted that his thumb has been causing pain for the past two months, he hasn’t spoken publicly about his break.
“It made no difference,” Rodgers said. “He It makes no difference if I play. You saw the tape on my thumb, it makes no difference.
When asked if surgery had ever been considered, Rodgers replied, “no, I don’t think so.” It was his own answer to the question of whether he would require attention off-season.
Most Wednesdays since the injury, Rodgers has missed practice, using the time to rehab his thumb. On this Wednesday, before the Packers’ road trip to face the 9-1 Philadelphia Eagles, Rodgers practiced, albeit with a limited number of participants. He did it with his right thumb bandaged.
He succeeded thanks to a mini goodbye weekend. The Packers played the Tennessee Titans on Thursday night to kick off Week 11. The players were given the next five days off, giving Rodgers time to rest and heal his thumb.
“I think I’ve had worse injuries that I’ve played with,” Rodgers said. “So, you know, definitely a challenge. But the days off helped me, I felt better this week. The five days off was nice and the full workout today with sprints below the core, so it felt good.
Going below center can be especially painful with a thumb injury. A quarterback’s hands are cupped in such a way that his thumb is constantly bumped against his teammate. Rodgers, in particular, has played shotgun for a significant portion this season, but has insisted that he has more to do with the scheme than an injury, at his request.
“I told them not to hold anything back, let’s go under center,” Rodgers said. “I’ll be fine on Sunday.”
The Packers went 1-6 as of Week 6, with the back-to-back MVP averaging 229.6 passing yards per game, a 62.3% completion rate, 13 touchdowns on four interceptions, and a quarterback rating of 95.7 during that period.
However, Rodgers says thumb problems aren’t the root of his and the Packers’ offensive problems this season.
“My thumb hurt a lot more in the Dallas game and I put the ball where I wanted it,” Rodgers said, also admitting that he had several shots in the loss to the Tennessee Titans that were just poor shots, not the result of a thumb Broken. At this point, Rodgers said, he knows what to expect each week.
“It’s pretty much the same every week,” Rodgers said. “It really didn’t get any better. It hasn’t gotten significantly worse. There would be a couple of plays each game, maybe a slightly inside snap or a jab that might shake him a bit, but it was just dealing with the occasional kind of dull ache and sorting it out.
At 38, injuries are something Rodgers knows; in comparison, he said, this isn’t as bad as others he’s suffered, especially when it comes to affecting his game.
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“When I hurt my knee in (20) 18, you know, you bowled from the floor, so it was definitely difficult with the footwork and the game fell behind,” Rodgers said. “But I mean, when I broke my index finger in college, that was probably a slightly, slightly more important finger to deal with.
“But remember, I was in practice and coach (Jeff) Tedford said ‘I don’t care what hurts. You have a day off and if you miss another day of practice, you’re back up again.’ So there was no choice.”
Even now there is little choice. The Packers’ backup is Jordan Love, who has started one regular season game since being drafted in the first round in 2020. He has appeared in seven games in nearly three seasons. There is little choice for head coach Matt LaFleur as the Packers attempt to win and sneak a wildcard spot in the playoffs, making every game of the remaining six essentially a single-elimination playoff. It’s why LaFleur and Rodgers focused more on the Eagles this week than on whether Rodgers’ thumb will keep him off the field.
“I hope (the time off) has helped his thumb,” LaFleur said Wednesday. “Today we didn’t really go into that sense. Since we’re at this stage of the game, we’re trying to be super efficient with our time in the building.”
With their season on the line, though, Rodgers will be looking to play despite lingering thumb pain. After five days off, he still has the best chance to play with little to no discomfort. When asked if this is the best the injury has felt since it first occurred, Rogers replied “yes.”