Packers at Vikings
Aaron Rodgers has done a masterful job masking what ails the Green Bay Packers, as the two-time NFL MVP continues to throw touchdowns passes despite several moving parts in the offensive line and backfield. Rodgers may see the return of several key cogs as the Packers vie for their fourth straight victory on Sunday when they visit the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Rodgers earned NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors after he capped a three-touchdown performance with a 12-yard scoring strike to Davante Adams in last week's 35-31 come-from-behind victory at Dallas. Under Rodgers' watch, Green Bay ranks fourth in the NFL in points scored (26.2), third in third-down conversions (48.4 percent) and first in red zone efficiency (78.9 percent). While Rodgers has been at ease under center since replacing Brett Favre nearly a decade ago, Minnesota has seen a revolving door at quarterback of late as Case Keenum likely will be under center with Sam Bradford sitting out practice this week after aggravating his knee injury in Monday's 20-17 win at Chicago. Keenum completed 17 of 21 passes for just 140 yards in relief last week and likely will make his fourth start of the season on Sunday.
TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Packers -3. O/U: 46.5
ABOUT THE PACKERS (4-1): While Rodgers has a firm handle on the passing game, Aaron Jones kept his nerves in check by rushing for 125 yards on 19 carries in his first NFL start in place of fellow running back Ty Montgomery. The 24-year-old Montgomery reported no ill effects after absorbing hits during practice while wearing a flak jacket to protect his multiple broken ribs sustained in a Sept. 28 game against Chicago. "I played with one in high school. It's very normal. A flak jacket is pretty normal. It's not in the way or anything." Green Bay's 22nd-ranked rushing attack could see a boost with the potential returns of left tackle David Bakhtiari (hamstring) and right tackle Bryan Bulaga (ankle), who were both listed as limited participants in Thursday's practice.
ABOUT THE VIKINGS (3-2): Minnesota doesn't just have questions under center as wideout Stefon Diggs (NFC-leading 395 receiving yards) sat out practice this week with a groin injury, leaving his availability to face Green Bay in question. Diggs found the end zone in both games versus the Packers last season and rolled up 20 receptions for 364 yards and four touchdowns in his last three home contests overall. Latavius Murray (31 yards) failed to light a spark in a starting role after impressive rookie Dalvin Cook was lost for the season with a torn ACL, but fellow running back Jerick McKinnon totaled 146 scrimmage yards (95 rushing, 51 receiving) and added a touchdown last week.
1. Minnesota DE Everson Griffen has recorded at least one sack in all five games this season, tying a career-long streak.
2. Packers WR Jordy Nelson collected 14 receptions for 227 yards and three touchdowns in two contests last season versus the Vikings.
3. Minnesota defense leads NFL in third downs, allowing a conversion rate of 25.5 percent.