GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Aaron Rodgers probably won’t play much this preseason; that’s nothing new for a quarterback who played only two series in one exhibition game last season. But he won’t be easing his way into training camp, either.
There was Rodgers on Thursday, taking his usual snaps with the starting offense during the first practice of Green Bay Packers camp. Just like last summer, when coach Mike McCarthy said he would be “conscious” of his quarterback’s training camp pitch count, the Packers will chart how many balls Rodgers throws before the regular-season opener. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be any less than he’s thrown in past camps.
“I think you have to be smart with all your quarterbacks just the way you go through training camp,” McCarthy said. “I mean, there’s regimens you go through. This is the most he’ll throw all year. And we’ve always charted Aaron’s throws here, particularly the last couple of years. So we’re conscious of that. But he gives good feedback. He doesn’t like to not practice, the importance of him being on the field is important. But we’ve got to make sure we take care of his arm.”
Rodgers’ preseason game workload has declined in each of the past two years. In 2015, he played in only two preseason games. Last year, it was just one.
Rodgers turned 33 last December but said there’s been no change in his arm. It looked just fine on a deep touchdown throw to Davante Adams in Thursday’s opening practice. Rodgers placed the ball perfectly for Adams, who beat cornerback LaDarius Gunter on a go route.
“I usually tell [McCarthy] it takes about a week for me to really feel like myself, kind of a week to get back into it,” Rodgers said. “I'm usually smart about the first week, as far as not getting too many, but I'm competitive as well, so I want to be out there for the reps. I want to be on the same page as the young guys, the new guys. There's a great deal of communication, so if there's any issues with me throwing, of course there usually aren't, I'll tell him. But no, I don't really have any restrictions on me.”
In fact, Rodgers said he thinks it's a quarterback's legs that go before his arm.
"I mean, the arm I don't think ever really goes," Rodgers said. "I'll probably guess that John Elway and Dan Marino can still sling it around pretty good. The legs are what goes first, so I've got to keep those, you know, in good shape and make sure that I can just move around."