On Now
Coming Up
  • Wed., Jul. 23, 2014 5:00 PM CDT Ask Vic Day

    “Ask Vic Day” will include dinner and a movie, an “Ask Vic Live,” and a few other surprises along the way. The event will be held on July 23, 2014, at Lambeau Field. Registration will begin at 4 pm with a 5 pm kickoff. Door prizes will be awarded during the reception.

    Cost per person is $35 (tax included).

  • Thu., Jul. 24, 2014 11:00 AM CDT Shareholders Meeting

    The Green Bay Packers 2014 Annual Meeting of Shareholders will be held Thursday, July 24, at 11 a.m., at Lambeau Field. The meeting will take place rain or shine.

  • Fri., Jul. 25, 2014 6:00 PM CDT Packers 1K Kids Run

    Back to Football also includes the 1K Kids Run, presented by WPS Health Insurance. Kids 10 years old and younger will have the opportunity to run a Lambeau Lap on Friday, July 25, at 6 p.m. Registration for the Kids Run is $10 and all participants will receive a Packers 1K Run t-shirt, a logoed bag and a participant medal.


  • Fri., Jul. 25, 2014 7:00 PM CDT Movie Night at Lambeau Field

    Movie Night at Lambeau Field will return this year on Friday, July 25, following the 1K Kids Run. The event is free and open to the public, and concessions will be available throughout the movie. More details will be announced at a later date.

    Time listed above is subject to change.

  • Sat., Jul. 26, 2014 6:30 PM CDT Packers 5K Run/Walk

    The fifth annual ‘5K Run/Walk at Lambeau Field,’ is set for Saturday, July 26, at 6:30 p.m.

    The computer-timed run is highlighted by a neighborhood route that ultimately takes participants into Lambeau Field and around the famed gridiron. The event has a special finish line – the Packers’ ‘G’ painted on turf located in the parking lot.

    All participants will receive a Packers 5K Run T-shirt, a logoed bag, and a bib number and timing chip. To celebrate the race’s fifth anniversary, all participants will receive a commemorative medal. In addition, photos will be taken on the course and will be available at no cost on the Packers 5K Run website.

    Packers-themed awards will be presented to the top three finishers in each age group. An awards ceremony will take place following the conclusion of the race.

    Registration, which is $25 for adults and $15 for children (12 and younger), will be available online beginning Friday, May 23, at www.packers.com/5k. Mail-in registration is also an option, with forms available online and in person at Lambeau Field. Runners can also register at the Bellin Run Expo on Friday, June 13, at Astor Park in Green Bay. Early registration is encouraged. After July 13, registration fees will increase to $30 and $20, respectively.

  • Thu., Jul. 31, 2014 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM CDT PPCC Annual Reception

    The Packers Partners Annual Reception is set for Thursday, July 31, 2014 in the Lambeau Field Atrium from 4:00 PM- 7:00 PM.

    Packers Jarrett Boykin, Eddie Lacy, Datone Jones and DuJuan Harris will appear at the reception. The event will include a Player Guest Q&A, a Meet & Greet with a Packers Alumni and a Raffle Drawing.

    This is a member’s only event. Invitations will be mailed the week of June 23rd, and online registration will open at 9 am CDT on June 25th and will close on July 11th at 5 pm CDT. 

    Invitations will include all of this information and additional details.

    To sign up to become a member of the Packers Partners Club of Champions and receive an invitation to the reception, fans can go to www.packers.com/ppcc.



Mike Spofford

Mike Spofford has worked as a sportswriter in Wisconsin since 1995 and has been a packers.com staff writer since 2006. He has covered the Packers' last two Super Bowl appearances, XXXII and XLV.


Hits on Rodgers no joking matter

Posted Nov 16, 2011

It was the kind of hit that makes Packers fans cringe.

In the third quarter on Monday night, against the Vikings, quarterback Aaron Rodgers stepped up in the pocket, found no one to throw the ball to, and started to tuck and run, like he’s done so many times.

Only this time, just as he crossed the line of scrimmage, Rodgers didn’t see Minnesota defensive end Jared Allen closing in a hurry from his left, and Allen drilled Rodgers with probably the hardest hit the Super Bowl MVP has taken all season.

“I got up pretty quick and asked Jared if that was all he had,” Rodgers joked as he spoke with reporters Wednesday during his regular weekly briefing at his locker. “He rocked me pretty good. He knew what the answer was.”

Not that he needed to, but if any hit proved Rodgers’ toughness this season, that was it. On the very next play, he converted fourth-and-2 with a 12-yard strike to Jordy Nelson, and two more completions later the Packers were in the end zone again.

But with all due respect to Rodgers’ sense of humor and tough-guy mentality – “I’m a quarterback and I think taking hits sometimes makes me feel more like a football player,” he said – taking that kind of punishment presents unnecessary risks, especially for a quarterback who sustained two concussions last season.

It’s risky both for the team and the individual. The Packers are 9-0 and headed toward solid playoff positioning in an effort to defend their Super Bowl title, and Rodgers is in the midst of one of the best seasons a quarterback has ever enjoyed. It would be a shame to see either, or both, derailed with the stretch run looming.

“I didn’t like the hits he took Monday,” Head Coach Mike McCarthy said. “He was hit too much Monday.”

Rodgers was sacked three times by the Vikings and forced to scramble on five other plays. The sack total for the season has climbed to 23, which puts Rodgers on pace for 40 by the end of the regular season.

That would be worse than the 38 sacks the Packers allowed last year in the regular season (Rodgers took 31 sacks, with backup Matt Flynn absorbing seven in roughly 1½ games under center). Offensive Coordinator Joe Philbin spoke loud and clear during training camp about the goal of reducing the number of sacks allowed, but for all the gaudy numbers the offense is putting up in 2011, the sacks are still a “thorn in the side,” to use Philbin’s words.

Obviously, the Packers have been able to overcome a lot of lost yardage due to the sacks, with the team averaging better than 35 points per game, but there’s no knowing which hit could be a potential season-changing one, so the Packers have to start minimizing them.

Rodgers wasn’t sacked three times in one game through the first four weeks of the season but now has been sacked three or more times in four of the last five contests.

McCarthy said the pass-protection breakdowns were “spread around” on Monday night, meaning there wasn’t one particular weak spot up front. On Wednesday, Rodgers maintained his faith in his offensive linemen while at the same time calling on them to play the way he knows they’re capable of playing.

“I’m not concerned about the protection,” Rodgers said. “It’s not a matter of miscommunication. It’s just a matter of not being as assignment-sound, and in those times we have the right call on, you have to win your one-on-one matchup.”

That goes for Rodgers, too. If the protection doesn’t account for a free blitzer, Rodgers has to win that “one-on-one” by either escaping or getting rid of the ball and limiting the contact. He knows that and does that most of the time.

It’s a fine line for Rodgers, who has made many big plays by holding the ball a little longer and waiting for someone to come open. If his No. 1 priority were avoiding sacks and hits, he might not be the front-runner for MVP and the Packers might not be 9-0.

The big hit by Allen wasn’t anyone’s fault, necessarily. Rodgers never saw him and, even if he did, he might not have been able to avoid him because Rodgers had nowhere to go but forward, out the front of the pocket.

But knowing all that won’t stop the fans from cringing.

“I’m not trying to take any of those hits,” Rodgers said. “Obviously, your goal is to not take any shots that rock you like the one I took there in the third quarter.”

Injury update: McCarthy gave defensive end Mike Neal (knee) a chance to be ready to play on Sunday for the first time this season, though nothing is guaranteed. McCarthy said Neal took a number of team (11-on-11) snaps on Wednesday and continues to progress.

“If he’s ready to play and we feel he gives us what we need, then he will be up on Sunday,” McCarthy said. “But once again, we’re going through this, trying to give him more each day, and see how he responds.”

Running back Ryan Grant missed practice due to a cut on his knee that required stitches, but McCarthy said he expected him to play on Sunday.

Linebacker Frank Zombo (hamstring) also remained sidelined while linebacker Desmond Bishop and guard T.J. Lang both missed practice for personal matters. Bishop tweeted that his grandmother passed away.

Additional coverage - Nov. 16
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