There was plenty of speculation leading up to the decision on whether the Green Bay Packers would let Aaron Rodgers play this week, but the cat wasn’t let out of the bag until yesterday. Not even for the Packers.
The decision was announced to the players in Thursday’s team meeting for the first time.
Guard T.J. Lang said he didn’t think Rodgers was playing until he heard the news.
“I honestly didn’t think he was going to play,” Lang said, via Brad Biggs of theChicago Tribune. “The last three or four weeks, when he was close, I learned not to get my hopes up. To hear that news on those Fridays that he was not playing, it was tough. . . .
“Everybody just kind of smiled. It’s one of those things where you’re like, ‘Finally, man.’ It was almost a sigh of relief. The news gives you a little spark.”
The Packers may have the spark they need to beat the Chicago Bears and win the division title, but everyone also knows they’ll still have to perform on Sunday.
“Just because Aaron is the quarterback doesn’t mean we’re going to be able to go down there, have him walk out of the tunnel first and we get a win,” wide receiver Jordy Nelson said. “Everyone is going to have to do their job. Going into Chicago to beat Chicago isn’t going to be easy.”
Of course, don’t tell that to the media and fans. We’ve read at least 100 tweets from both news outlets and fans alike that now claim the Packers are Super Bowl contenders again.
We are far from jumping to that conclusion. Super Bowl contenders have defenses that play at a high level. The Green Bay Packers do not.