Will Aaron Rodgers change his style after second broken collarbone? 'Good question'
Aaron Rodgers has to balance his ability to make plays outside the pocket with his injury concerns
Aaron Rodgers is going to be sitting out for a while. Rodgers broke his collarbone after falling hard on his shoulder after an outside-the-pocket hit by Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr. It's the second time in his career he's suffered the injury, having previously done so in 2013. That injury also occurred on a hit outside the pocket.
Is Rodgers, then, considering changing his style of play when he returns to the field? After all, both of the serious injuries he's suffered during his career have come on plays where he's broken the pocket to try to extend the down and search for an open receiver.
"Good question," Rodgers said, after pausing to consider the question, per ESPN.com. "I haven't thought about that a whole lot. But what comes to mind right away is no. But I might need to think about that the next eight weeks."
Rodgers' escapability is a big part of what makes him arguably the best player in football. There is nobody better at extending a play, and nobody better at firing the ball through a tight window when a receiver does manage to spring open on the scramble drill. Though he is obviously also very effective from inside the pocket, taking that extra element away from his game would do a lot of damage to the Green Bay offense, and would cause Rodgers to become a very different player.
At least one of his coaches agrees.
"His game outside of the pocket is tremendous, and I don't think you'd want to take that away from him," Packers quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt said, in the same ESPN.com story. "We've just got to encourage him not to take hits. Now obviously that one [that broke his collarbone] was out of his control; both of them were. But that's a big part of what he does."
There's almost no way for a quarterback to just not take hits at all, but certainly staying inside the pocket more often would help limit the damage. There's a tough balancing act to be struck here for Rodgers, because you don't want to take away from what makes him truly special, but he also can't actually showcase the special talent he has if he's not on the field. We shouldn't expect too much to change when Rodgers gets back under center, but maybe he wants to start throwing the ball away more often if defenders are approaching him outside the pocket and nobody has shook open just yet.
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