After breaking his collarbone earlier in the season, former Super Bowl winning Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is getting ready to return to on-field action.
Rodgers is one of the most fierce competitors at the quarterback position in the NFL, so few are surprised that the former MVP made it back so quickly. Panthers head coach Ron Rivera said that everybody knew all along he'd be back for their game this weekend (quotes via NFL.com):
"Everybody knew from the beginning that he was coming back for our game," coach Ron Rivera told Packers reporters in a conference call on Wednesday, via the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Since suffering his injury back in Week Six, Rodgers was medically cleared to return to action this past Tuesday. Rivera claimed that as soon as the Packers put Rodgers on IR eight weeks ago, he expected "A-Rod" back for their Week 15 meeting:
"If you think about it, the way they set it up, presented everything, you just knew the goal was to get him back as soon as possible," he said.
"They wanted to maintain, keep themselves in playoff position, and that's what they've done. That's the kind of football team they are. They did a great job.
"Now, the opportunity to have them on the field, (expletive), I'm not surprised. Not one bit."
The Packers are currently 7-6 and have a slight chance of making the playoffs this year. A returning Rodgers will certainly boost their chances. The Panthers have one of the best defenses in the NFL this season, and won't pose an easy return for Rodgers.
Rivera stated that he isn't going to take the Packers quarterback lightly this weekend, and is preparing for him to come out full force:
"Aaron Rodgers is one of those guys that probably really doesn't need a lot of practice," Rivera said.
"And knowing Aaron Rodgers, he's probably been throwing the ball for four, five weeks already anyways.
"So, I mean, seriously, I'm just trying to be honest about how I feel who this young man is. I think he's one of the elite guys. We know he's a first-ballot Hall of Famer. I'm just being honest.
"I expect this guy to be on his game, and we have to approach it that way."
What are your thoughts on Rivera preparing for Rodgers to come back to the field at full force? Do you think it's a good idea to prepare for a 100 percent Aaron Rodgers? And do you expect Rodgers to return like nothing ever happened? Let us know your thoughts on the matter in the comments section below!
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