Aaron Rodgers on Wanting to Play in Week 18: 'Important' for Packers to Keep Momentum

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 4, 2022

Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers during the second half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)
AP Photo/Aaron Gash

The Green Bay Packers already clinched the NFC's No. 1 seed, first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, but don't expect Aaron Rodgers to rest on his accomplishments.

The quarterback appeared on Tuesday's episode of The Pat McAfee Show and said he will play in Week 18 against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field.

"The plan is to play," he said. "... I'm a believer in [momentum] ... and I think it's important for us to keep that momentum going."

Green Bay has plenty of momentum following five straight victories, one of which came over the 12-4 Los Angeles Rams and helped it clinch the No. 1 seed.

While there is nothing at stake for the Packers in the upcoming NFC North clash with the Lions, there is on an individual level for Rodgers. After all, he is battling the likes of Tom Brady, Joe Burrow and others for the league MVP award. 

If he wins it, it will mark the fourth time in his illustrious career he takes home the MVP. It would also move him ahead of Brady's three MVPs and one closer to Peyton Manning's five MVPs as two of the defining quarterbacks of the past generation of the NFL.

There is also something to be said for avoiding rust.

Thanks to the first-round bye Green Bay earned, Rodgers would be off for three weeks between the team's Week 17 win over the Minnesota Vikings and its NFC Divisional Round playoff game if he didn't play against the Lions.

Like he said, such a long break could interrupt the momentum he has generated while completing 68.6 percent of his passes for 3,977 yards, 35 touchdowns and four interceptions. It would also prevent him from reaching 4,000 passing yards for the fourth straight season.

Perhaps the Packers will treat this as something of a preseason game and let Rodgers and the starters get some work in before moving to the backups, but the quarterback expects to take the field Sunday.