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Here’s Why Rodgers Intends to Play Sunday at Bears

During his weekly appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show” on Tuesday, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers explained why he will be in the lineup on Sunday at the Bears.
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GREEN BAY, Wis. – Satisfied about the results of scans on his injured ribs, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said he plans on being in the starting lineup for Sunday’s game at the rival Chicago Bears.

“I might miss practice Wednesday, (or) not be a full contributor, but that’s been the standard for the last six, seven weeks” because of his broken thumb, Rodgers said during his weekly appearance on The Pat McAfee Show on Tuesday.

“(The plan is to) go to one of my favorite places to play, down in Chicago, hopefully get a big win, get into the bye week and get healthy and see where we can get to.”

Rodgers was injured during Sunday night’s loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. He fought through the injury, initially sustained in the second quarter and aggravated by a sack on the opening possession of the third quarter, before Jordan Love played the fourth quarter. At the time, Rodgers feared he might have a punctured lung. Rodgers recalled receiver Randall Cobb suffering a punctured lung during a playoff loss at Arizona in 2015. Cobb left the stadium in an ambulance.

“That was pretty scary,” Rodgers said. “And I’ve heard some other stories, as well. So, I just wanted to make sure that wasn’t the case. I just couldn’t do anything about the pain to get back out there.”

The 40-33 loss left the Packers with a 4-8 record. Even if they were to somehow win all five of their remaining games, they might fall short of reaching the playoffs.

The team’s place in the playoff picture, however, isn’t what’s driving the decision. Rodgers just wants to play because that’s what players want to do.

“If we were 8-4, 4-8, 12-0, 0-12, I’d be wanting to suit up this week,” Rodgers said. “Not just because it’s Chicago. Because that’s what you do. When you’re a player, you go out there and if you can play, you play. You don’t need some doctor to give you some excuse, ‘Oh, man, maybe one more week. I’m not 100 percent.’ No. If you can go out there and compete, and you have competitive greatness in your body, in your heart, in your mind, you go out and play.”

On Monday, coach Matt LaFleur said Rodgers would start against Chicago so long as he’s healthy enough to do so.

Asked why he’d go with Rodgers, despite thumb and rib injuries, over the promising and healthy Love, LaFleur said: “We’ve got a lot of faith, quite frankly, in both those guys. But, you know, Aaron’s the starting quarterback. He’s battled through a lot throughout the course of his career. It’s pretty well documented, and I think he’s been able to play at a pretty high level through a lot of different situations.”

Despite the injuries, Rodgers thought he would be an asset to a team that has gone 1-6 since he suffered the broken thumb on the final play of the loss to the Giants.

“If you at 90 percent gives your team the best chance to win, then you’re out there playing,” Rodgers said. “Being able to look in the mirror — I mean, honestly, that’s the only person you have to really appease and whose opinion you’ve got to live up to, that person staring right back at you.

“That’s why I’ve always wanted to play, and that’s why I never want to come out of games. Because I want to look in the mirror and know I did everything I could to be with my guys, put my body on the line — willingly. That’s the nature of being a fierce competitor.”

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