GREEN BAY, Wis. — Aaron Rodgers finally explained the specifics of his Week 1 knee injury last season — and what impact it had on him throughout the year — but said neither the injury nor the concussion he sustained in the season finale will have any lingering effects.
Rodgers, who participated in the start of the Green Bay Packers offseason program on Monday, said in an interview that aired Tuesday on ESPN Milwaukee that he suffered a tibial plateau fracture and a sprained MCL in his left knee. Rodgers, who started all 16 games, said he did not need postseason surgery but instead got what he described as “a series of shots in the offseason, which I’ve done before.”
He said the fracture occurred on the outside of his leg.
“If you watch the hit back, just my two bones that come together on the outside just kind of made an indent fracture,” Rodgers said on the Wilde and Tausch show. “Very painful. The good thing was it’s not super weight bearing, load bearing every single time, but there’s definitely some movements and things you do naturally that affected it.”
Rodgers wore a knee brace until the Nov. 6 game against New England. He had hoped to shed the brace earlier but had a setback in the Week 5 game at Detroit.
“The MCL was frustrating as well because it did start to get better and then Christian Jones tackled me on the sideline in Detroit early in the game and it basically reset the whole thing,” Rodgers said on the show. “I don’t feel like after the first quarter of the season, the first game, I really wasn’t 100 percent the entire year. That’s not an excuse for the way I played or didn’t play, but it limited my mobility for a good part of the season.”
Rodgers had perhaps his worst season as a starter. He completed just 62.3 percent of his passes (the second-lowest percentage of his career as a starter) and threw just 25 touchdowns (the lowest total in a season in which he started at least 15 games). The Packers finished 6-9-1 and missed the playoffs for the second straight season.
His season ended with a concussion during the first half of the meaningless season finale against the Lions. Rodgers was taken to a local hospital during the game but returned to Lambeau Field before the game ended. It was at least the third known concussion of Rodgers’ career, and he called this one “scary” because it impacted his vision.
“I couldn’t see,” he said during the radio interview. “I lost vision. Definitely peripheral. I got hit and I came to the sidelines and I was sitting on the bench and I went back out there and by that third series, the normal 180-(degree) plus peripheral (vision) shrunk to like blinders.
“It’s the first time I ever took myself out of a game. But I didn’t have any lingering effects. I was talking with our docs and I felt like I would have been cleared, actually, that next week. Because again, head injuries are all different. Davante Adams took that crazy shot and then played the next week because some guys bounce back and some guys don’t. I had zero recurring issues.
“But it is nice to be sitting here — you know the offseason on your body, especially as an older player, it’s great. I feel great. My legs feel good. My feet feel good. It would be nice to be a little healthier from the start. It’s something you can’t avoid, but I’ve made some changes to my offseason training regimen and approach and the kind of team that I have around me, which I think is going to help.”