Aaron Rodgers provides injury update: I'm right where I need to be
Aaron Rodgers is feeling great and insists he will not be limited at all when training camp opens later this year.
The Green Bay Packers quarterback has no lingering issues from the broken right collarbone that forced him to miss most of the 2017 NFL season.
"I feel really good," Rodgers told Omnisport on Thursday in an exclusive interview arranged by Marriott. "I'm able to work out and do what I want to do."
On Wednesday, Rodgers competed in the pro-am golf tournament ahead of the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
"I had no problem golfing. I'm where I need to be," Rodgers said from Minneapolis, where he will host a Super Bowl party exclusively for a dozen Marriott Rewards members and their guests on Friday.
Rodgers played in just seven games last season after breaking his collarbone in a Week 6 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
He returned in Week 15 and threw for 290 yards and three touchdowns but also was intercepted three times and sacked three times in a 31-24 loss to the Carolina Panthers.
Rodgers said he "took some shots" in that game and suffered a setback that landed him back on injured reserve for the remainder of the season as the Packers finished 7-9 and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
He was unable to play in every regular-season game for the first time since 2013, when he broke his left collarbone.
"It was disappointing not being out there," Rodgers said of the 2017 season. "One of my first goals every year is to play 16 games, give your team the best opportunity to win every week.
"There are some hits, there's nothing you can do about it. I've taken a couple of those in my career and both have resulted in broken collarbones. It's just kind of the way it goes."
When the Packers return to the field, things will look different after an overhaul of the coaching staff. Head coach Mike McCarthy is still there, but Frank Cignetti Jr. has replaced Alex Van Pelt as quarterbacks coach — a move that initially did not sit well with Rodgers because he was not consulted on the decision.
"Change is part of our game and I think it's a good thing for us," Rodgers said on Thursday. "Anytime you make changes, whether it's advancement or retirement, or whatever the issues may be, there are positives that come out of a new energy coming into the building.
"It's part of the game, just like losing friends and team-mates, guys getting cut, trades or free agency. It's the constant in our game and you know it's part of it, but it's tough."
Offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett is also out, but he was replaced by former Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin - who was Green Bay's offensive coordinator from 2007-11.
"I love Joe. He's been a big part of what we've done in Green Bay for a number of years," Rodgers said. "He does a great job commanding the room. He's definitely one of my favorite guys to be around. He just has a great way about him.
"I'm excited about him coming back. I mean, the last time he was with us was in 2011 and we had a pretty good offense that year."
The Packers went 15-1 that season and were the NFL's highest-scoring team. Rodgers claimed league MVP honors after throwing for 4,643 yards with 45 touchdowns and just six interceptions.
The Packers were coming off a Super Bowl title in 2011, but were unable to repeat after getting upset by the New York Giants in the divisional round. The Giants went on to beat the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 46, becoming the only team to defeat the Patriots under head coach Bill Belichick in seven Super Bowl appearances since 2001.
Now in their eighth Super Bowl, what Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady have been able to accomplish is "extremely impressive", Rodgers said.
"Eighth Super Bowl? That's ridiculous," he added. "But it's a tribute to those guys. Nothing is easy in this league. Tom can make it look easy when he's out there, but it takes a lot of hard work. He takes incredible care of his body.
"It's very impressive what they've done, [and] continue to accomplish," he added. "They get guys to buy into what they're doing, get them to fall in line, and they win. That's what they do. It's impressive to watch because you know how difficult it is to get there."
Rodgers said Brady, 40, has set the bar for longevity. While NFL rules changes protecting quarterbacks have helped prolong careers, Rodgers feels advances in dietary education and sports medicine are even bigger factors.
Rodgers, who turned 34 in December, said he plans on playing at least another six seasons.
"It's a real possibility. To not just do that, but to do it, for me, to play the way I want to play," Rodgers said. "I'm still running around for 300, 350 yards a season. I'm still extending plays with my legs. I think it's a real possibility to do that to 40 and maybe into my 40s. That's the goal."