Rodgers on the money in Packers win
ST. LOUIS (AP) – All of those months of injury rehab paid off for Sam Bradford, who showed no signs of a season-ending knee injury last November.
Aaron Rodgers looked pretty polished, too.
Bradford and Rodgers each threw a touchdown pass in their preseason debuts in the Green Bay Packers’ 21-7 victory over the St. Louis Rams on Saturday.
“It felt great there,” Bradford said. “No surprises. It felt really good.”
Michael Sam played in the second half and got his first sack of the preseason, dropping Matt Flynn for a 10-yard loss in the fourth quarter to force a 49-yard field goal by Mason Crosby. Sam had a tackle earlier in that series and totaled two quarterback hits.
“I felt more comfortable, more relaxed,” Sam said. “I know the speed of the game, I know how it is and it just felt right.”
Everything went according to plan for the Rodgers and the Packers.
“We practiced up-tempo offense and to be able to come out and execute it at this stage of the game is great,” running back Eddie Lacy said. “It will be tough for opponents to keep up and be able to beat us.”
Rodgers was 11 for 13 for 128 yards and a 3-yard score to Randall Cobb. His only complaint was about officiating – the teams were whistled for a combined 22 penalties for 171 yards and two touchdowns catches were nullified.
“It’s way over the top, it’s just too much,” Rodgers said. “The game’s way too choppy if they’re going to call it like that.”
Bradford, who said weeks ago that the left knee was no longer a concern, was 9 for 12 for 101 yards and an 11-yard touchdown to Lance Kendricks.
“It was nothing new, I’ve been here before,” Bradford said. “I think for everyone else it’s probably a bigger deal for me to get back out on the field.”
Lacy had five carries for 25 yards on the Packers’ 12-play, 86-yard drive to start the game.
Sam, the seventh-round pick is the first openly gay player drafted in the NFL, is likely competing with undrafted Ethan Westbrooks for a backup spot.
Westbrooks was the second-team left defensive end behind Chris Long and had a sack with four total tackles, while Sam got work at both defensive end spots.
The Edward Jones Dome appeared about half-full, even with the benefit of hundreds of Packers fans who made the trip and let loose with a big cheer after Cobb’s TD catch. The Rams announced ticket sales of 55,072 and capacity is about 66,000.
Rodgers had plenty of time to operate and he looked sharp, going 6 for 6 for 47 yards and scrambling 14 yards on the opening drive. He ended the quarter with a 35-yard pass to Andrew Quarless to the St. Louis 12 that led to a short field goal and a 10-0 lead.
“The offense got off to a great start,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “I really liked the production that we were able to get done in the first two series.”
Scott Tolzien was 10 for 15 for 107 yards behind Rodgers and Matt Flynn, who started the opener, was effective as the third quarterback. Flynn threw a 34-yard touchdown pass to rookie Jeff Janis, a seventh-round pick, and added a 2-point conversion pass to Davante Adams that made it 18-7 late in the third.
Jordy Nelson started for the Packers after returning from a hamstring injury this week, but had no catches in limited action.
Notes: Packers TE Brandon Bostick was sidelined with a lower leg injury in the first quarter.
CHICAGO (AP) – Former Super Bowl MVP wide receiver Santonio Holmes signed a one-year contract with the Chicago Bears on Saturday.
The team also announced receiver and kick returner Eric Weems was released.
The Bears are looking for a third receiver behind stars Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. Marquess Wilson was battling for that job when he broke his collarbone last week.
A first-round draft pick by Pittsburgh in 2006, Holmes was the Super Bowl MVP in his third year. He had his best season statistically the following year in 2009 with 79 catches for 1,248 yards and five touchdowns.
But he was traded to the New York Jets the following offseason after the Steelers tired of his legal troubles.
The Jets released the 30-year-old Holmes in March after he had 23 catches – the second-lowest total of his career – for 456 yards in 11 games. He missed five games midway through the season with a hamstring injury. Holmes was limited to just four games in 2012 and was sidelined for several months after suffering a career-threatening foot injury.