Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers says he expects to play Sunday at Chicago after a rib injury knocked him out of a 40-33 loss Sunday night at Philadelphia.
“I got good news with the scans yesterday, so I plan on playing this week,” Rodgers said Tuesday on “The Pat McAfee Show.”
Rodgers left in the second half against the Eagles because of the rib injury. He already has been playing with a broken right thumb, an injury he sustained on the final play of a 27-22 loss to the Giants on Oct. 9.
“There was an earlier shot in the game that kind of rattled the ribcage,” Rodgers said. “I was trying to stretch some things out at halftime a little bit and realized it probably wasn’t some sort of muscle injury. And I just got hit again in the third quarter and was just having a hard time breathing.”
Packers coach Matt LaFleur had said Monday that Rodgers was feeling better, but added the team would know more about the four-time MVP’s status in the next couple of days.
Rodgers said he wouldn’t be surprised if the injury limited his practice time.
“I might miss practice Wednesday and not be a full contributor, but that’s kind of been standard for the last, I don’t know, six or seven weeks,” Rodgers said. “[We’ll] go to one of my favorite places to play down in Chicago and hopefully get a big win, get into the bye week, get healthy, and see where we can get to.”
The Packers (4-8) still have a slim chance of reaching the playoffs heading into their game with the Bears (3-9). Rodgers said after the Eagles game that he wanted to keep playing through these injuries as long as the Packers still have a chance of making the postseason.
Rodgers also offered praise Tuesday for Jordan Love, the 2020 first-round pick who took over for him in the Eagles game and went 6 of 9 for 113 yards with a touchdown.
“It was really nice to watch,” Rodgers said. “I feel like an older brother watching him do well. I care about the kid a lot.”
Some Watson accusers plan to attend game
With nearly all of the more than two dozen lawsuits filed against Deshaun Watson having been settled, most of the women who accused the Browns quarterback of sexual misconduct have no interest in his return to Houston on Sunday and just want to move on with their lives, according to their attorney.
But about 10 of the women who accused Watson of sexual harassment and assault during massages are planning to attend Sunday’s game at NRG Stadium when the Browns take on the Texans and watch him play in his return from an 11-game suspension, said attorney Tony Buzbee.
Some of the women really want to attend the game “to kind of make the statement, ‘Hey we’re still here. We matter. Our voice was heard and this is not something that’s over. [Sexual harassment and assault] happen every day in the United States,’ ” Buzbee said.
The women declined to comment ahead of Sunday’s game, he said.
But it’s unclear if the spotlight Watson is expected to get this week will mean continued attention on the allegations against him and what his accusers say is trauma they’re still dealing with, or if it’s the first step in shifting the conversation strictly to football and his play on the field, according to experts.
“It can go either way ... I think probably for the vast majority of NFL fans, they’re going to forget about the past and start focusing on the future with him,” said David Ring, a California-based attorney who is not connected to the lawsuits and who has represented victims of sexual assault.
Watson was still with the Texans when more than 20 women alleged he exposed himself, touched them or kissed them against their will during massage therapy sessions. One woman alleged Watson forced her to perform oral sex.
Ultimately, 25 women represented by Buzbee filed lawsuits. One woman dropped her lawsuit while 23 others settled their cases in August. In July, 30 women who had accused the Texans of turning a blind eye to allegations against their former star quarterback settled their legal claims against the team.
Watson, who was traded to the Browns in March, has long denied any wrongdoing and two separate Texas grand juries declined to indict him.
Bears place Jackson on IR
The Bears placed safety Eddie Jackson on injured reserve because of a foot injury that could keep him out for the remainder of the season.
The Bears are last in the NFC North with five games remaining. They’ve dropped five in a row and are coming off a loss to the Jets that was particularly painful.
Leading receiver Darnell Mooney suffered a season-ending ankle injury that coach Matt Eberflus said Monday requires surgery. The Bears placed him on IR on Tuesday and signed practice squad defensive back A.J. Thomas to the active roster.
With Jackson, tied for third in the NFL with four interceptions, also going down against New York, the Bears lost two leaders. He was hurt in the second quarter.
Jackson’s injury combined with a concussion Jaquan Brisker already had and a hamstring injury to Dane Cruikshank left the Bears playing their only two remaining safeties — DeAndre Houston-Carson and rookie seventh-round pick Elijah Hicks.