All eyes continue to be on Aaron Rodgers’ injured left knee as the Green Bay Packers prepare to face the Washington Redskins on Sunday in Landover, Md.
The injury affects Rodgers’ mobility and thus the Packers’ offensive game plan.
“He’s got to know what’s up — meaning, what plays are up,” Rodgers said of coach Mike McCarthy. “Can we do some (play-) action? Or can we not? And that just depends on how my knee feels.
“I don’t think you can say because I did some of those things in the game (on Saturday against the Minnesota Vikings) that automatically I’ll be able to do that and more on Sunday. It depends on how I’m feeling.”
Rodgers acknowledged that he has thought about how the knee will hold up and whether it might get worse as he continues to play on it.
The Packers continue to hold him out of practices to give the knee time to rest. He’s listed as probable on this week’s injury report.
“Yeah, obviously that’s a concern,” Rodgers said. “Hopefully, it goes the other way though.”
Rodgers was pressured, knocked down often and sacked four times in last week’s 29-29 tie with the Vikings, but the knee held up. He completed 30 of 42 passes for 281 yards and one touchdown with no interceptions
Redskins coach Jay Gruden believes the key to controlling Rodgers is to bring pressure.
“The most important thing is that you’ve got to make him uncomfortable in the pocket,” Gruden said. “If you give him time to move around and buy time, and find a second, third option, or fifth or sixth option because he’s scrambling around, he’s going to dice you up.
“The team’s that have had success, which aren’t very many, they pressure him, and that’s the key.”
Redskins defensive coordinator Greg Manusky is preparing for a fast-paced tempo from the Packers that doesn’t allow for many substitutions.
“Definitely, I mean, he’s one of the best in the league, you know, going to the ball quick if you sub,” Manusky said. “We’ve made sure that we get in our situations where (if) we hadve a chance to sub, we will. There are other chances you might get caught, so we’re going to be playing with the guys that we have out on the field if he’s there and he does that.”
The Redskins will be trying to bounce back from a 21-9 loss to the Indianapolis Colts last week.
“I think we understand that when you are playing an Aaron Rodgers-led football team, Clay Matthews, Coach (Mike) McCarthy, they are going to make some plays,” Gruden said. “How we handle some type of adversity, hopefully we handle a little bit better on Sunday than what we did against the Colts. I think the guys have practiced hard, learned from their mistakes, and are ready to move on.”
Offensively, the Redskins would like to get veteran running back Adrian Peterson more involved. He has rushed for 116 yards and a touchdown on 37 carries in two games.
“I think he’s adjusting fairly well,” Gruden said. “He’s still new to the system and some of these shotgun runs; he’s very good at behind the center, behind the quarterback.
“We are trying to feature runs that he’s good at but also practice some of the runs he hasn’t really done in his career. I think he’s doing a good job though.
“It’s getting his eyes right. It’s all about his eyes as his landmark and doing what he does; making a quick slash or cut, being decisive and going. Sometimes he gets a little impatient. He has been a little impatient to make that quick cut but he’s going to be fine. He’s a Hall of Fame back and the more he sees, the better he will get.”