Aaron Rodgers is on a roll. In fact, he’s playing the quarterback position as well as anyone ever has, with 22 touchdowns and just one interception in his last eight games – all wins.
But he’ll face a tall task in the NFC Championship in Atlanta this Sunday. Rodgers could be without Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams and Geronimo Allison, though Adams and Allison are expected to give it a go.
But what if they don’t? Can Rodgers have success with anybody?
“I think he kind of can,” CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “That’s sort of what he does. Geronimo Allison is making plays. Getting Jared Cook back was very significant for them and enabled them to stretch the field in other ways with the tight end that they haven’t really probably been able to do since Jermichael Finley was in his prime. They’re not going to rule Jordy out just yet. They’ll see can he stretch? Can he leap? Can he expand his lungs to catch a ball in practice? Is this a situation where he could go maybe with a flak jacket? Is there some other apparatus we can put on him to stabilize that area to a degree where he could play maybe even a limited role? They’ll use the next (24 to 36) hours to figure that out between today and tomorrow. I wouldn’t say it’s likely, but it’s not completely impossible either.”
Rodgers will need to be in top form Sunday, especially with the Atlanta offense clicking on all cylinders. The Falcons have averaged 38 points over their last five games, which is one reason why the 49ers want Kyle Shanahan to be their next head coach.
If Shanahan wants it, the job is his.
“He’s going to have every opportunity to go to the 49ers,” La Canfora said. “He can’t quite put pen to paper when he meets with them early next week, but he could certainly verbally agree to a lot of things and they could start putting a staff together around him and for him, which would be very similar to a process he was a part of two years ago in Atlanta, where he was officially hired as offensive coordinator before Dan Quinn could sign on as head coach because Quinn was still coaching in the playoffs, and at that point, coaching Seattle all the way to the Super Bowl. So win or lose, I’m told that Shanahan will meet with the 49ers a second time in Atlanta early next week.”
Shanahan, 37, would surely love to be an NFL head coach, but the situation in San Fran leaves much to be desired. The 49ers are 7-25 over the last two seasons and have instability at several key positions.
“He has some concerns and he has some – I won’t say demands – but things that he’s interested in,” La Canfora said. “They’re going to run their GM candidates by him and see what he thinks of that, and he has tremendous leverage here. The reality is no matter how the team might try to spin it, if he says no, we’re now getting up into over six people who have said no thanks to this thing at one time or another in terms of coach and GM, and they would be going to the Senior Bowl not just without a head coach, but without coordinators, without a staff. You’re starting to get into an untenable situation especially when you’ve gone one-and-done with coaches the last two years already and you’re kind of struggling to regain his reputation. So I think they will bend over backwards to make him as comfortable as he can be to get him to agree to this, but there’s going to be a lot of change coming in San Francisco beyond just the coach and the GM.”
“You have gone through this process to the point where there’s literally one guy left standing between you and having to start a complete other round of interviews. Not where you want to be. Not where you want to be, especially given what’s happened there since things started coming apart with Harbaugh.”