This post contains affiliate links. “As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.”
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers doesn’t see the value in playing a few preseason snaps, but that’s what led to criticism last season.
Veteran status in the NFL often ensures certain privileges, such as “vet days off,” when many elder statesmen in the league take an understandable break.
Veterans are also typically absent from early preseason games, as these are often used as opportunities to scout borderline players trying to make the 53-man roster.
In this sense, Aaron Rodgers is no anomaly. The 38-year-old quarterback hasn’t taken a preseason snap since 2018, and entering his 15th season as the Packers’ starting quarterback, he doesn’t feel he necessarily needs them. But the amount of young, new wideouts on the team makes a compelling case for Rodgers to take a few snaps for the sake of chemistry.
After all, the Packers don’t want another loss to open the 2022 season like they did last year. Instead, Rodgers offers a polarizing ultimatum: either give him a few drives or don’t offer anything at all.
Aaron Rodgers has a strong opinion about the preseason performance for the Packers
Right now, Rodgers won’t play in the first two preseason games, but it’s still unclear if he could play in the third. On Tuesday, Rodgers called the decision to have him take preseason snaps “kind of a no-win situation for the outside of the building.”
His reasoning is that a potential preseason injury, or a potential loss in Week 1, opens the door to criticism from spectators. And if Rodgers plays, he’ll get more than a few snaps — otherwise it’s “a waste of time.”
“I don’t see any benefit to it,” Rodgers told ESPN’s Rob Demovsky. “I certainly don’t see any advantage in playing one series. If we’re going to play, we’re going to play and play for a quarter, a couple of series, two to three series. Just dressing up for four plays is a waste to me.”
Rodgers’ argument isn’t unreasonable, but it puts the Packers in a difficult position. The longer Aaron is on the court, the longer he is susceptible to potential – and avoidable – injury. In a meaningless preseason game designed to test playcalls and fringe players, that decision will face overwhelming backlash if the reigning MVP is knocked out.
That said, the Packers will also face criticism if Aaron Rodgers shows up in Week 1 looking as confused as he did last season when the Packers lost a 38-3 game to the New Orleans Saints. Of course, the season opener ultimately didn’t matter to the Packers, and neither did Aaron Rodgers’ individual performance.
The Packers may choose a Week 1 loss over a potential preseason injury, all because Rodgers doesn’t want to limit his preseason participation to a few snaps. Having that inflexibility in how much he plays could end up being the wrong pick for the Packers — and for Rodgers — in Week 1.