GREEN BAY — Back in 2012, not long after he’d won a Super Bowl title and his first NFL MVP award, Aaron Rodgers starred in a series of television commercials looking to pump up ticket sales for the rebuilding Milwaukee Brewers.
From Rodgers using an unconventional wind-up on the pitcher’s mound (dropping back to pass like he does in his real job), to showing off his Super Bowl ring, to crushing batting practice pitches thrown by the Hot Dog from the famous Sausage Race, the ads went viral and were definitely chuckle-worthy.
Now, though, with the Brewers in the National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Packers looking to get their collective act together after a 2-2-1 start, the quarterback is hoping his team can take a cue from the streaking Brewers, who’d won 11 straight games entering Friday night’s Game 1.
“It’s fun to see the Brewers come back. They obviously had a few down years, but they’ve got a great owner and great management and (manager) Craig (Counsell) has done a great job with the squad,” Rodgers said. “I think there’s a good mix (on the Brewers’ roster). With any great team, a good mix of veteran leadership and then you find that right piece – (outfielder Christian) Yelich, who’s had an MVP-type season – and it all just comes together.
“And, I think we can do that here, when you just start to get that momentum going and that confidence up, it’s contagious. So we’ve got to find that feeling again in this locker room and get rolling.”
Tight end Lance Kendricks, who grew up in Milwaukee and played at the University of Wisconsin, used to proudly wear his Brewers hat while playing for the St. Louis Rams. Now in his second year with his home-state football team, Kendricks has been living and dying with his favorite baseball team.
“I try to catch every game whether it’s on TV or whether it’s just on my phone,” Kendricks said. “I used to love going to the games, the playoff games especially, because the atmosphere is just ridiculous. They’re fun to watch.”
The Packers added both starting right tackle Bryan Bulaga (knee) and backup Jason Spriggs (ankle) to the injury report on Friday – a less-than-ideal scenario late in the week.
It was unclear when Bulaga’s knee issue came up, as he was not on the field with his teammates during the early portion of practice open to reporters. He was officially listed as having been a limited participant. Spriggs, meanwhile, went down with his injury toward the end of the open portion of practice and was seen being attended to by the team’s athletic training and medical staff, and later carted back to the stadium.
Earlier in the day, coach Mike McCarthy had said that veteran Byron Bell, who joined the team as a free agent during the offseason, would continue starting at right guard after making the start there the last two weeks for Justin McCray.
McCray, who was out with a shoulder injury, appears to be healthy enough to start at right guard or right tackle – wherever Bell wouldn’t be – if Bulaga and Spriggs are out. McCray was listed as a full participant in practice.
Wide receivers Randall Cobb (hamstring) and Geronimo Allison (hamstring) were each listed as limited participants in practice and their status for Monday night remains unclear.
Rodgers, despite saying he had a “setback” with his injured left knee against Detroit, was able to practice in full on Friday. So was tight end Jimmy Graham, who returned after resting his knee Thursday.
In the secondary, defensive backs Jaire Alexander (groin), Jermaine Whitehead (back), Bashaud Breeland (hamstring) and Kentrell Brice (ankle) all practiced on a limited basis. Cornerback Kevin King (chin) was able to practice in full for the second straight day.