WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUND-UP: Rodgers hedging when he'll return to field
Green Bay Packers' quarterback Aaron Rodgers figures that he'll need to practice at least two days before he can return for a game.
On his weekly ESPN-Milwaukee radio show, Rodgers was asked if there's any chance he can play on Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field. Rodgers said it all comes down to a quote, "risk-reward" comparison. He said the risk would be displacing the left collarbone that he broke November fourth against Chicago. If that happens, Rodgers said he would need a 3-to-5-month recovery. He and the Packers' medical staff would weigh that risk with his ability to go through the motions and be effective -- and he would need at least two days to make that determination. In other words, if we don't see Rodgers practicing on Friday quote, "then I will be spectating" for Sunday's Minnesota contest. The same would be true for the Thanksgiving Day contest at Detroit. He said he would have to be practicing by next Tuesday to have a chance to play at Ford Field on Turkey Day. Meanwhile, most pundits say the Packers must win the Minnesota and Detroit division games to have any chance of making the playoffs. The Pack is a game behind co-leaders Detroit and Chicago.
The Green Bay Packers will again face quarterback Christian Ponder on Sunday at Lambeau Field. Vikings’ coach Leslie Frazier made the announcement today. His status was in question after he committed three turnovers last Sunday in a loss at Seattle. Ponder was pulled in favor of back-up Matt Cassel. However, Frazier says he believes Ponder has the best chance of beating the Pack – who will apparently be without quarterback Aaron Rodgers unlike October 27th when Green Bay trounced Ponder and the Vikes in Minneapolis. For the Packers, seven players did not practice today – Rodgers, Don Barclay, Sam Shields, Mike Neal, Nick Perry, Casey Hayward, and James Nixon. Center Evan Dietrich-Smith was limited, as were linebacker Andy Mulumba and defensive end Ryan Pickett.
The Minnesota Vikings’ biggest star, Adrian Peterson, will play his 100th career game on Sunday in Green Bay – if he’s healthy, that is. The All-Pro running back is trying to work through a groin injury suffered last Sunday against Seattle. Peterson has played 14 regular season games against the Packers, in which he has rushed for 16-hundred-one yards and 10 touchdowns. Last December, Peterson set a Lambeau Field record for the most rushing yards by an opposing player – 210 in a nine-point Green Bay victory. Both teams have quarterback issues going into this weekend. The Packers have won seven-of-their-last-eight games against Minnesota. That includes last season’s 14-point Wild Card playoff victory against the Vikes at Lambeau.
The Packers are making it possible for rookie offensive lineman J.C. Tretter to play before the season ends. Team officials have allowed Tretter to return to practice, while remaining on the physically unable-to-perform list with a broken ankle suffered in workouts this past spring. Tretter has only recent started running. Had he not been allowed to practice this week, Tretter would have had to stay on the "PUP" list for the remainder of the season. He was one of three fourth-round picks in the April draft this year. Meanwhile, the Packers have cut lineman Bryan Collins from their practice squad. A corresponding acquisition move has not been announced yet.
University of Minnesota football coach Jerry Kill says he won't mess with success -- especially during Saturday's Border Battle against the Wisconsin Badgers in Minneapolis. Kill says he'll run the show from high above the field in a booth at TCF Stadium -- just like he's done the past four weeks, when his Gophers won all those games. Kill took a leave of absence at the start of the season to deal with his epilepsy. When he returned, he continued to let defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys manage things on the field while he called shots from the booth. That worked for Minnesota's victories over Northwestern, Nebraska, Indiana, and Penn State. It was the first time since 1973 that the Gophers won four straight in Big Ten conference play. Saturday's contest is the biggest in Kill's three years as Minnesota's coach. Both teams are 8-2 overall, and the Badgers are one game ahead of the Gophers at 5-1 in Big Ten play. Minnesota hopes to win back Paul Bunyan's Axe, which has been in Madison since 2004 as the 16th-ranked Badgers have won nine straight over their rivals to the west.
The University of Wisconsin football team now has 20 known recruits for next season. Running back Caleb Kinlaw of Goose Creek South Carolina and kicker Rafael Gaglianone of Tennessee has both given verbal commitments to coach Gary Andersen’s Badgers for 2014. Kinlaw had earlier committed to Georgia Tech – but he changed his mind after visiting Madison earlier this month for the Badgers-BYU game. Kinlaw has rushed for a-thousand yards in three straight high school seasons. Despite injuries this year, he scored 19 touchdowns on the ground. Gaglianone kicked for Chattanooga’s Baylor School last fall.
The Milwaukee Brewers have given promotions to two front-office executives. Jessica Brown will become the newly-created director of ticket technology and services – and Caitlin Moyer has been named the team’s director of new media. Brown was most recently a senior manager in the ticket technology department. She’s been with the Brewers for eight years. Moyer is starting her 12th season with the organization. She most recently served as a senior manager for marketing and advertising.