Aaron Rodgers is coming home to Canada, sort of.
“According to Cabbie, he traded for me and made me part Canadian so going back to the homeland is going to be a lot of fun,” Rodgers said.
Rodgers’ Packers play the Oakland Raiders in Winnipeg on Thursday night. But it won’t be the first time the Super Bowl winner and two-time NFL MVP has set foot in our home and native land.
“I’ve been to Canada a few times. I played a baseball regional series there when I was 13 in Nanaimo, British Columbia. I’ve been to Montreal. I’ve been to other various parts of B.C. Never been to Winnipeg, but I’m sure there are some Packers fans up there,” Rodgers said.
The Week 3 NFL pre-season matchup takes place in the Manitoba Capital at IG Field. Normally the home of the Blue Bombers for football purposes, the stadium is being reconfigured to meet NFL guidelines.
“I’ve been a fan of the CFL for a while, so I know how much those cities that have a team, how much it means to them. It’s going to be exciting to get up there and play,” Rodgers.
Stadium capacity is just over 33,000. End zone seats in the lower bowl were reduced as ticket sales were lagging. But there is no certainty fans who paid anywhere between $75-$375 for tickets will see Rodgers take the field in Green Bay colours.
“That is to be determined. I want to wait and see. It’ll be a game-time decision. I got so much confidence in him. I’m not overly concerned either way, whether he plays or not,” Packers head coach Matt LaFleur said.
“I certainly would like to see him and get some of that rust off of him. He’s done it for a long time at a high level. The plan is to get him out there Thursday night,” Green Bay general manager Brian Gutekunst said.
Last August Rodgers signed a four-year extension with the Packers worth $134 million, including a $57.5 million signing bonus. Rodgers suffered a tibial plateau fracture and sprained MCL in his left knee during the first game of the regular season and didn’t miss a start in 2018, but Green Bay failed to make the post-season.
That led to changes as LaFleur brought a new offence to the Packers when he was hired as bench boss and Rodgers has been learning the system. Mike McCarthy was fired in the off-season, he had been with Rodgers since the 2005 first round pick was elevated to starting quarterback in Green Bay for the 2008 season.
“The practices are so much more important than the pre-season. The best reps I’m going to see all summer are in practice,” Rodgers said.
“If Matt wants us to play, we’ll play and go out and compete. If not I feel pretty good about where we’re at.”
Maybe Cabbie can convince Rodgers to play just like putting on the Canadian tuxedo, lumberjack overcoat and toque while holding a Canadian football and eating ketchup chips.