According to Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy on Tuesday, the plan is for quarterback Aaron Rodgers to play some Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“The goal is to play Aaron on Thursday,” said McCarthy on Tuesday morning. “Coordination of who he plays with is part of that decision. But yeah, definitely, that’s the goal for him to play.”
Additionally, Rodgers had said on Monday he expects to play some in the his team’s second preseason game of 2018 after sitting out the prior one.
“I think I’ll play. I think I’ll probably play this week. I’d like to in front of our fans. You know, being that we got the first two at home it would be nice to get out there back on Lambeau. Obviously when I came back from my injury it was on the road so I haven’t played at home for a long time,” said Rodgers.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was informed during his Tuesday press conference that the early word is that Rodgers will play Thursday night and he was then asked if that has any bearing on how he’ll approach his team’s second preseason game of 2018.
“No, we’re not concerned about what they do or their plans in terms of their team development,” Tomlin said. “We’re focused on ours.”
Tomlin, however, also said Tuesday that he hopes Rodgers does wind up playing Thursday night at Lambeau Field.
“I hope he does play, you know, you like those challenges of the quality players, but it’s not gonna affect what it is we do or how we approach our prep and play,” Tomlin said.
The Steelers head coach was then asked if he’s excited to see where his defense currently stands should they indeed go up against a high-caliber quarterback such as Rodgers Thursday night.
“You know, you always want to compete. You always want to play against the best. So you know, that never changes.”
Personally, I look forward to seeing if the Steelers starting defense can hold their own against Rodgers and the rest of the Packers offense Thursday night and that’s even assuming that some starters such as defensive lineman Cameron Heyward, outside linebacker T.J. Watt and safety Sean Davis ultimately sit that contest out, like many speculate they will.
Despite the unit forcing three turnovers in the preseason opener last week against the Philadelphia Eagles, the Steelers starting defense that they fielded in that contest still gave up quite a few big plays both on the ground and through the air in addition to missing several tackles. In short, the Steelers defense should get a good test early on during their Thursday night road game against the Packers and it will be interesting to see if that unit can pass it while registering a better overall grade than they did against the Eagles in Philadelphia.