Hobbled Rodgers seals dramatic GB comeback

Reuters
Aaron Rodgers led one of the greatest comebacks in Green Bay history,returning from a first-half knee injury to throw three touchdowns in a stunning 24-23 win over Chicago Bears
Reuters
AFP

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers celebrates the 24-23 NFL win over the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field in Wisconsin on Sunday.

Aaron Rodgers led one of the greatest comebacks in Green Bay history, returning from a first-half knee injury to throw three touchdowns in a stunning 24-23 win over the Chicago Bears.

The legendary quarterback delivered a game for the ages in the Packers’ season-opener on Sunday at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Rodgers did it while hobbling on one leg after being taken to the locker room in a golf cart with a left knee injury, only to return in the second half with his team behind 0-20.

“It is hard to put into words. It is the Bear-Packer rivalry,” Rodgers said. “I went into the locker and did all the tests. I tried to get loose.

“Once I got back on the field, I felt I could hang in there.”

Hang in there he did, as Rodgers showed he’s better on one leg than most NFL quarterbacks are on two. He outclassed Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky and the Packers defense did the rest.

Rodgers completed pass after pass, connecting on long bombs and line drives up the middle despite not being able to put much weight on his left leg.

Asked what he was thinking when he returned. Rodgers said, “Something special. I told the guys at half-time that if you shut them out we are going to win.

“I felt we could win if we put together some drives and then we started making plays.”

Rodgers left the game and had to be taken to the dressing room in a golf cart with the Packers down 0-10 in the second quarter. He hobbled off the field after Bears defensive end Ray Robertson-Harris fell on his left knee.

“My knee felt something in it,” he said. “I had a hard time putting weight on it. I told them I was going back.”

Just three-of-seven for 13 yards when he was driven to the locker room, Rodgers completed 16 of his next 19 passes for 198 yards and two TDs.

He connected with Devante Adams on a 51-yard catch and run which helped set up a TD to cut the Bears’ lead to 20-17.

Later he found Randall Cobb with a short laser pass up the middle and Cobb did the rest, running 64 yards for a go-ahead TD with just over 2 minutes left.

It equalled the largest come-from-behind win of Rodgers’ career, matching a 0-20 rally against Detroit in 2015.

Asked if there is any chance he might play the next game against Minnesota, he insisted, “I will play next week.”

Elsewhere in the National Football League on Sunday, it was: Browns 21, Steelers 21 (in overtime); Patriots 27, Texans 20; Jaguars 20, Giants 15; Vikings 24, 49ers 16; Bengals 34, Colts 23; Buccaneers 48, Saints 40; Panthers 16, Cowboys 8; Chiefs 38, Chargers 28; Broncos 27, Seahawks 24; Dolphins 27, Titans 20; Redskins 24, Cardinals 6; and Ravens 47, Bills 3.

In Cleveland, the Browns erased a two-TD deficit and neither they nor Pittsburgh scored in OT, leaving the bitter rivals in a tie in a soggy season-opener.

Chris Boswell missed a 42-yard field-goal attempt with 1:44 left in OT for the Steelers, the defending AFC North champions, and the Browns’ Zane Gonzalez missed a 43-yard try with 9 seconds left.

The Browns, 0-16 last season, have not won since December 24, 2016, against the then-San Diego Chargers. Josh Gordon’s 17-yard TD catch with 1:58 left in regulation created the 21-21 tie after Pittsburgh had built a 21-7 lead.


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