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"I definitely care," Rodgers said Thursday.
And those around him say he's still capable.
"I would never say it has anything to do with his skill level diminishing, or he's getting older or any of that, because I see the same guy every day," receiver Davante Adams said.
But Rodgers' numbers aren't on par with his usual output. Heading into Sunday's regular-season finale at the Detroit Lions, he will need to throw for 321 yards to reach 4,000 yards. He has thrown for 321 yards in a game only twice this season, and he hasn't thrown for even 250 yards in any of his past seven games.
Only once in Rodgers' career has he failed to reach 4,000 yards in a year in which he played in all 16 regular-season games. That was in 2015, the year he lost Jordy Nelson, his No. 1 receiver, to a preseason knee injury.
Yet under first-year coach Matt LaFleur, Rodgers and the Packers have won 12 games and can clinch a first-round bye in the NFC playoffs with their 13th win.
"I think the level of success and the way that I feel I'm playing is different in this offense this year," Rodgers said. "I don't need to throw 40 touchdowns for us to win. I need to be great on my checks, be as efficient as possible. I need to take care of the football."
In Monday night's 23-10 win at Minnesota, Rodgers threw for just 216 yards without a touchdown and one interception. It marked the first time Rodgers had won a game in which he threw an interception without a touchdown. It was his third game this season without a touchdown pass, but the Packers have won all three. Coming into this season, Rodgers was 4-10 in such games.
"I felt like last game was one of my better games of the season," Rodgers said. "You look at the stats and go, 'OK, you're (26)-of-40 for 200-something, no touchdowns. What are you talking about? Are you really lowering the bar for yourself that much?' And I'd say, 'No, I'm never lowering the bar for myself.'
"The expectations are for greatness, but my responsibility was to get us in checks. My responsibility was to get us in the right protection scheme and take care of the football, and although I threw a pick, I felt like what I needed to do in that game, I was executing at a winning level. But any quarterback wants to throw four or five touchdowns a week. It's just that hasn't been the case this year, we haven't needed it to win 12 games."
Rodgers ranks 12th among all quarterbacks in passing yards (3,679), tied for 11th in touchdown passes (24) and 18th among all qualified quarterbacks in completion percentage (63.4). However, he has the fewest interceptions (three) and the best touchdown-to-interception ratio.
Rodgers, 36, might be better at handling those kinds of numbers than he would have earlier in his career.
"I think we had a different team back then," Rodgers said. "We had that group on that Sports Illustrated [cover in 2011]. We had a stretch -- you guys know during that time -- we had almost 50 games without a 100-yard rusher. So our focus, our plan of attack with Mike [McCarthy] during that time was, 'Hey, we're going to be aggressive throwing the ball. We're going to throw 40 times a game.' There were years when I was throwing it 600 times damn near every year, and that's what we needed to do to win. This year, we've done it a different way."
Lynch's contract is for this season only -- Week 17 against the San Francisco 49ers and the postseason, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter.
The Seahawks also signed Robert Turbin, who spent his first three NFL seasons with the Seahawks. Lynch and Turbin fill backfield spots that opened Sunday when Chris Carson and C.J. Prosise suffered season-ending injuries.
Lynch, who was in Seattle on Monday to take a physical, spent parts of six seasons with the Seahawks from 2010 to 2015, helping the team reach two Super Bowls. The five-time Pro Bowler came out of a one-year retirement to play for his hometown team, the Oakland Raiders, in 2017 and 2018.
Lynch, 33, hasn't played this season but didn't file retirement paperwork with the league.
In an interview posted by Beast Mode Productions on YouTube on Monday night -- the caption says the chat took place "a few days ago" -- Lynch was asked about a new opportunity and why he'd consider returning to Seattle. He responded: "We got history there. We got unfinished business."
The Seahawks (11-4) were desperate for help at running back as they prepare for their showdown Sunday night against the 49ers (12-3) in a game that will determine the NFC West champion.
Coach Pete Carroll confirmed Monday that Carson suffered a season-ending hip fracture during a loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. Seattle also is without backups Prosise (arm) and Rashaad Penny (knee), both of whom are out for the rest of the season.
Lynch rushed for 376 yards and three touchdowns in six games with the Raiders last season. He eclipsed 1,200 yards rushing in four consecutive seasons with the Seahawks from 2011 to 2014 and led the NFL in rushing touchdowns in 2013 and 2014.
"He's had plenty of time to be working and get ready in case something came up, and I'm anxious to see him when we get him here," Carroll told 710 ESPN Seattle earlier on Monday. "There's a lot of history here that's great history. There was nobody that ever amplified the kind of mentality and toughness that we like to play with, so if we get a chance to get the Beast back on the field, we'll see how that works out."
Turbin, 30, was a fourth-round pick by the Seahawks in 2012, part of the famed draft class that also included Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner. Turbin rushed for 928 yards on 231 attempts (4-yard average) in 48 games with Seattle while serving as Lynch's primary backup. That included a career-high 310 yards in 2014.
Turbin spent three seasons with the Indianapolis Colts from 2016 to 2018, averaging 3.1 yards per carry over 23 games. He last played in Week 6 of the 2018 season.
Turbin and Wilson were roommates on road trips and became close friends during the running back's three seasons in Seattle. He was part of Wilson's wedding party when the quarterback married singer Ciara in 2016.
Turbin posted to Instagram a picture from inside the Seahawks' locker room Monday evening, indicating he had returned to the team.
Also Monday, Carroll said he expects defensive end Jadeveon Clowney to play against the 49ers after missing the Cardinals game with a core-muscle injury he has been dealing with since Week 10. That was the first meeting against San Francisco and Clowney's best game of the season.
It has raised suspicions around the league and drawn some comparisons to "Spygate," the 2007 incident that led to penalties for Belichick and the Patriots. Belichick said the franchise has altered its approach since then.
"We're competitive and we'll try to be competitive in every area," Belichick said during a conference call with Cincinnati media Tuesday morning. "But we don't knowingly, intentionally want to do anything that's across the line.
"But since that's [Spygate] happened, I'd say we've tried to keep a good distance behind the line and not maybe take it as far as we would might have in the past. But it's never really fundamentally changed there."
In 2007, Belichick was fined $500,000 and the Patriots were docked a first-round pick in the 2008 draft after a team employee was caught recording unauthorized footage of the Green Bay Packers and the New York Jets. A league investigation found eight tapes of game footage and written notes on scouting information accumulated over the seven previous seasons.
During Tuesday's call, Belichick said he "didn't have anything at all to do with this" after the Patriots confirmed that a videographer captured shots of the field and Bengals' sideline on Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium, one week before Cincinnati hosts New England.
According to the Patriots, the advance scout in the press box for the Bengals' 27-19 loss to the Browns was being filmed for a series on employees that is featured on the team's website. A Bengals team employee spotted New England's videographer filming Cincinnati's sideline for the entire first quarter, a source told ESPN.
The NFL is investigating the matter. In a statement released Monday evening, the Patriots said the crew immediately turned over all footage to the league and cooperated fully, and takes full responsibility for the incident. Belichick said Tuesday he has never viewed any video footage from the Patriots' TV production, nor has his coaching staff.
On Tuesday, Belichick declined to say whether he had any contact with Cincinnati regarding the situation.
"I would say I'd keep that between us and the Bengals," Belichick said on the teleconference.
The Patriots (10-3) have a one-game lead over the Buffalo Bills in the AFC East heading into Sunday's games. The Bengals (1-12) have the worst record in the NFL.
"It motivates me a lot," Jackson said. "Make them eat their words, that's all."
Last year, as a rookie first-round pick, Jackson took over for the injured Joe Flacco around midseason and led Baltimore to its first AFC North title in six years, becoming the youngest quarterback (at 21) ever to start an NFL playoff game.
But Jackson went 6-1 as a starter more on the strength of his legs than his arm. In his seven starts, he finished 30th in completion rate (58%) and 31st in off-target percentage (23%).
Jackson believes he has made strides this offseason as a passer.
"You guys saw me last year. I was horrible. A lot of ducks," Jackson said. "It's been better. A lot of tight spirals."
On the first day of training camp Thursday, Jackson struggled early and fluttered some passes deep downfield, showing his frustration after some other off-target passes by shaking his head. He had a much more solid outing Friday, connecting on a higher rate of passes and hitting Nick Boyle 20 yards down the middle of the field for his best throw of the summer.
Safety Earl Thomas said Jackson has been "throwing dimes" and noted that he hasn't gotten his hands on one of Jackson's passes yet. His biggest concern with Jackson doesn't involve his accuracy or throwing mechanics.
"My thing with him is I don't want to get caught up in, 'You got to be a pocket passer, you got to be this,'" Thomas said. "No, Lamar, you be who you are. Be special. If you have to take off, take off. Make the defense work."
Jackson has always been in the spotlight. He became the youngest player to win the Heisman Trophy and is the only player in FBS history to rush for at least 1,500 yards and pass for at least 3,500 yards in consecutive seasons.
Coach John Harbaugh is amazed by Jackson's demeanor and personality for a young player facing so much pressure.
"I look back at being 22 years old, and I could have only hoped to have Lamar Jackson's poise and balance," Harbaugh said. "He is who he is. He doesn't get flustered. He doesn't get fazed. It's never too big for him. I'm kind of blown away by that part of him."
Besides the improvements in his passing, Jackson has made strides in the execution of the offense. Last year, he needed coaches to repeat the playcall, and the play clock often would run out. This year, the offense is moving at a crisper pace with Jackson.
There's also a noticeable difference in how Jackson looks. He added 7 to 10 pounds "of muscle, not fat" to help him withstand more hits.
"Trying to compete at a high level, put some more meat on my bones. I was hurt. I was skinny," Jackson said. "Those guys are big out there. The league is totally different. Grown men trying to feed their families, 300-pounders coming at you, running 4.5."
Quarterbacks coach James Urban sees a chip on Jackson's shoulder, but he believes most great players carry that.
"I think as much as anything, he wants to prove [Ravens owner] Mr. [Steve] Bisciotti, Ozzie [Newsome, former GM], Eric [DeCosta, current GM), Coach Harbs and the Baltimore Ravens right rather than prove everyone else wrong," Urban said.
Jones did not use the word "holdout" to describe Elliott's status. "He is ah ... he's late. We have officially reported and so he's a non-report officially," Jones said.
The Cowboys held their conditioning run and physicals and held a team meeting Friday. Their first practice in Oxnard, California, is Saturday.
Elliott is seeking a new contract. He has two years left on his existing rookie deal.
Rumors have persisted for most of the offseason that Elliott would sit out of camp in hopes of earning a long-term contract extension, but he did not miss a day of the voluntary offseason program or mandatory minicamp in June. Under his current contract, Elliott is set to make $3.85 million in 2019 and $9.09 million on the 2020 fifth-year option the team picked up in the spring.
The tailbacks on the Cowboys' roster not named Ezekiel Elliott have combined for six carries and 16 yards in their careers, all from Darius Jackson in last year's season finale. The other two are rookie draft picks, Tony Pollard and Mike Weber.