Aaron Rodgers’ interview on Wilde and Taushe was highly anticipated because of the recent article on Bleacher Report. However, the biggest story to come out of that interview was not his response to his former teammates, his thoughts on his new head coach, or even playing through a broken leg the entire season. The biggest piece of news to come out of the article was the severity of Rodgers’ concussion at the end of the 2018 season.
Before anyone can truly grasp the severity of this latest concussion, they need to take a look back at Rodgers’ injury history. Rodgers opened up to Bill Simmons about concussions on “Any Given Wednesday,” back in 2016. Before the 2018 season, Rodgers’ received two concussions in 2010. The first concussion he sustained was in week 5 against the Washington Redskins. Rodgers, like many NFL players, decided to try to tough it out and stayed in the game. Since the news came out that Rodgers played a whole season with a broken leg; choosing to stay in a game with a concussion should not surprise anyone.
Rodgers brain rattling in his skull is scary to begin with, but to make matters worse, he talked about losing sight in his eye after the hit. He described his sight at “becoming metallic and everything becoming silver.” This is something that seems to have been repeated for Rodgers after he received his concussion in 2018. Again, the man who was playing on a broken leg sustained a concussion and chose to stay in the game. He said in his latest interview. “I got hit and I came on the sideline, then I was sitting on the bench, then I went back out there. By that third series the normal peripheral shrunk to like blinders.” It does not appear he experienced the same metallic sensation he had previously, but his vision was affected none-the-less.
Rodgers second concussion in the 2010 season came against the Detroit Lions in week 14. Rodgers stuck to the theme of this article and chose to stay in the game. He did not experience any changes to his vision, but rather said he was having trouble remembering and calling the plays. He told Bill Simmons, “I called the play because I was able to recite it from my helmet. The only thing I remember about that sequence was, I was under center and I didn’t know if it was a run or a pass.” This concussion not only brought on issues with his memory, but also made Rodgers miss his first game due to a concussion.
In the same interview on Wilde and Taushe, Rodgers also mentioned his quality of life was most important to him. The Packers need to ensure they do enough to protect Rodgers so that their future Hall of Fame quarterback can finish his career on a high, healthy note.
He has sustained injuries in the past, but concussions are on a level of their own when it comes to severity. Concussions are injuries with side effects that can linger weeks, months, and even a lifetime. The Packers are no strangers to concussions almost ending careers. Starting defensive CB Sam Shields missed almost two whole seasons after receiving another concussion during the 2016 season. Other players like Chris Borland chose to retire at the age of 25 from the fear of brain injuries. This is a serious problem the Packers need to address now.
The 2019 offseason has been action packed for the Packers, and the Packers filled important holes on their roster. Particularly, to protect Aaron Rodgers. With Rodgers’ concussion history, he can’t afford another one. One big transaction the Packers made was signing Billy Turner. He is a veteran guard who played for the Broncos in 2018. Turner is a solid starter who will come in and solidify an offensive line who struggled at times last year. Many thought the Packers overpaid Tuner with a 4 year $28 million contract, but that is a sign the Packers see the importance of protecting Rodgers. The offensive line also gained depth with the return of Guard Cole Madison who stepped away from football last year for personal reasons. The Packers seem to want to solidify their offensive line in the 2019 draft. They have already had Ole Miss’’ offensive tackle Greg Little and Washington’s offensive linemen Kaleb McGary in for visits this offseason. With all of these potential moves, the Packers are looking to get their offensive line back to the consistent playing level it was at just a few seasons ago.gre
The NFL is always going to work on preventing concussions, but the Packers need to do their part to keep Aaron Rodgers on the field. The Packers seem to be headed in the right direction and they know their window with Rodgers is closing. This upcoming season will be an important one for the Packers for many reasons, but the most important will be Rodgers’ health. I, like many Packer fans, will be watching every game praying to the football gods that he avoids even the slightest setback.