NFL Wire News

Rodgers keep rolling, especially at home


The Sports Xchange

GREEN BAY — With 11 touchdown passes and zero interceptions after four games, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers wondered aloud Wednesday about how much longer he can keep the latter number unchanged this season.

“It’s Week 5, (so) that’s a tough one to answer,” Rodgers said. “I don’t know if it’s possible, I don’t think it is, but I enjoy the streak.”

Rodgers has yet to have a pass picked in 123 attempts this season.

Yet, he’s not even close to the best interception-less start to a season. That was attained by the Cleveland Browns’ Bernie Kosar in 1991 with 286 passes before he threw his first interception.

“Yeah, I set the bar pretty high,” Rodgers said. “I’m happy to even raise that a little bit. It’s just about limiting the potential intercepted passes. Through four games, there’s really only been one that you could say had the potential to be intercepted.

“That’s just about trying to be accurate, being on the same page with the guys and then avoiding the unnecessary ones. The ones you can’t do anything about – the tipped passes, the slips, the wrong routes – we’ve avoided those ones and then not put the ball in situations where it can be intercepted.”

Rodgers also can extend a couple more impressive streaks devoid of interceptions in Sunday’s game against the Rams at Lambeau.

Extending all of the way back to December 2012, Rodgers has thrown 486 straight passes without an interception in home games during regular-season play. He has thrown 43 touchdowns during that impeccable run. Both of those are NFL records.

–Head coach Mike McCarthy dispensed with some interesting insights about rookie receiver Ty Montgomery’s NFL indoctrination four games into the season.

The Packers gave Montgomery a dual role from the outset on offense and as their kickoff returner. His playing time increased, however, in the wake of starting wideout Davante Adams aggravating a sprained ankle early in the Week 3 win over the Kansas City Chiefs that forced him to miss the victory at the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.

McCarthy acknowledged Wednesday the workload has been heavy in the early going for a newcomer, though Montgomery didn’t seem to be overwhelmed after impressing coaches and teammates as a quick study when he arrived in the spring as the team’s third-round draft pick out of Stanford.

“I think that’s definitely the line you have to try to straddle,” McCarthy said, “and frankly, we did too much with him early because he was able to handle so much. I mean, he was playing on every special team. Heck, you thought he was going to be one of your best punt blockers, punt rushers and so forth. He has a high level of skill, and his ability to understand on how he fits into the overall scheme for a young player is very high.

“But, I think, particularly when you have injuries, it was important for him to settle down and focus on receiver, and we’ve backed off on special teams” with him.

Just not on returns. Montgomery has been highly productive, ranking No. 2 in the league with an average of 31.5 yards in six runbacks on kickoffs.

On offense, Montgomery is tied with Adams for fourth on the team with nine catches, good for 66 yards and a touchdown.

Adams’ lingering ankle injury leaves his status in doubt for Sunday’s game against the St. Louis Rams at Lambeau Field.

Without Adams, the Packers will continue to lean on a receiving trio of Randall Cobb, James Jones and Montgomery, the latter of whom still has the trust of quarterback Aaron Rodgers despite dropping what would have been an 80-yard touchdown pass on a deep ball on the first play of the game at San Francisco.

“He’s a great kid,” Rodgers said. “I don’t need an apology on plays like that. He came over and felt bad. I said, ‘Hey, don’t worry about it. I’m going to come back to you. You’ll be fine.'”

–Thanks in large part to the mistake-free right arm of Rodgers, the Packers have been unstoppable at home the last two seasons.

Counting the playoffs, they have won 11 straight at Lambeau since the start of the 2014 season. In their last 10 regular-season home games, all victories, the Packers have amassed 383 points – the most scored in a span of 10 home games in team history.

That is the third-highest points total by any NFL team in 10 straight home games. The Rams piled up 403 spanning the 1999 and 2000 seasons, and the Denver Broncos racked up 399 bridging the 2012 and ’13 seasons.

Notes: Right tackle Bryan Bulaga (knee) practiced Wednesday for the first time since he sustained tears of the MCL and meniscus in his left knee in the season-opening win at the Chicago Bears on Sept. 13. After initial speculation was Bulaga would be out four to six weeks after having surgery for the meniscus, the veteran is eyeing a return to action Sunday against the St. Louis Rams. “Believe me, if I feel ready, I’m going to go,” Bulaga said after getting limited work in the Packers’ non-padded practice Wednesday. “I’m not really one to hold back. If I feel ready to play, I’m going to do my best during the week to show the coaches that I’m ready and play. But, it’s going to be a day-by-day deal.” Don Barclay has been up-and-down as Bulaga’s replacement in the starting lineup the last three games.

–Wide receiver Davante Adams (ankle) has yet to return from a sprained left ankle that kept him from playing the 17-3 win at the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. Whether Adams is able to participate in the team’s practice in pads Thursday should be an indicator for the starter’s availability this Sunday against the Rams. “I’ll give him the full week and every opportunity to get back,” head coach Mike McCarthy said Wednesday. … Linebacker Clay Matthews (quadriceps) appears on the injury report this week. The defensive standout, who has been bothered by thigh issues throughout his career, was OK to participate on a full-time basis in practice Wednesday. … Wide receiver Randall Cobb (shoulder) was limited in the team’s modified practice Wednesday. As the team’s top receiver since the start of the season, Cobb has played through a sprained shoulder he suffered in the preseason. … Wid receiver James Jones (hamstring) is new to the injury report this week. The veteran had limited work in the team’s light practice Wednesday and should be OK to play Sunday against the Rams. Jones is tied with Cobb for the team lead with four touchdown catches. … Strong safety Morgan Burnett (calf) remained off the field Wednesday. The veteran starter has missed the last two games because of the lingering leg injury, giving way to Micah Hyde.

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