Rodgers had one carry for one yard Saturday against the Chiefs. Rodgers saw brief work with the first-team offense after Jeremy Langford left the contest in the second quarter. For now, he still projects to see regular season work to spell Langford on occasion, with much of that duty being on passing downs.
Rodgers had six rushes for seven yards Thursday against the Patriots. Rodgers was an effective receiving option in the preseason opener, but he had a brutal performance as a runner after Jeremy Langford was taken out of the contest. He played in both the second and fourth quarters against the Patriots' backup defenders, but struggled to make any tacklers miss. Despite the poor performance, he's primarily competing with Langford to play as a receiving back in passing situations. However, he's far less likely to earn much of the early-down work.
Rodgers is a better option than Jeremy Langford as a pass-catcher, Jeff Dickerson of ESPN.com reports. Dickerson mentions that the coaching staff trusts Rodgers, and that Langford doesn't catch the ball well enough to finish with 36 receptions. Although Langford is expected to still get the first crack to replace Matt Forte. Rodgers saw time early in the first preseason game, so the coaches are clearly considering him as a legitimate option. That said, this training camp battle has yet to be decided, though the next two preseason games could go a long way toward finding a resolution.
Rodgers had two carries for five yards while securing both of his pass targets for 23 yards Thursday against the Broncos. Rodgers entered the game with the second-string offense after Jeremy Langford functioned as the starter. With the offensive line struggling, Brian Hoyer was running for his life, but was able to dump off the ball to Rodgers on a pair of occasions to keep the team from suffering additional negative plays. Unless the line can improve on their pass protection during the preseason, it's possible that he'll be needed to help protect Jay Cutler while offering a pair of sure hands out of the backfield. Earlier in the week, the coaching staff was talking up the veteran running back, and he's now looking like he truly is in competition with the team's other running backs for passing-down duties.
Bears' running backs coach Stan Drayton sees Rodgers as "highly productive" and the leader of the team's young backs, Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. According to Jahns, Rodgers is both reliable as a receiver and blocker, and is said to be the team's best option on third downs, making him nearly indispensable. Whether this translates into the 26-year-old actually seizing the third-down role in the regular season is debatable, but for now, he needs to be considered as fully competing for this job. It should be noted that Rodgers caught at least 52 passes for the Falcons in both 2012 and 2013, so he's had success as a receiving threat in the past.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|7||10/21||@Green Bay Packers||11||15.33|
|10||11/13||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||15||16.88|
|11||11/20||@New York Giants||26||20.38|
|13||12/04||San Francisco 49ers||32||22.88|
|15||12/18||Green Bay Packers||11||15.33|
|3 Year Avg||56||197||1||27||175||1||48|