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Packers still dangerous without Rodgers

Posted Nov 9, 2017

Packers star quarterback Aaron Rodgers won’t play Sunday at Soldier Field due to a broken collarbone, but the Bears aren’t taking anything about the game against their fiercest rival for granted.

The drop-off from Aaron Rodgers to Brett Hundley is dramatic—as it would be with any inexperienced quarterback replacing a future Hall of Famer. But the Bears aren't taking anything for granted as they prepare to host Hundley and the Packers Sunday at Soldier Field.

"You don't really look at things like that in this league," said coach John Fox. "I think our guys understand there are a lot of capable players. It's not about one guy. I understand [Rodgers] is a special cat. Their team probably understands that better than anybody because they're with him every day. But they're still a dangerous football team."

The Packers are 0-3 since Rodgers broke his right collarbone Oct. 15 against the Vikings. In one relief appearance and two starts, Hundley has completed 57 of 97 passes for 489 yards with one touchdown, four interceptions and a 58.3 passer rating.

"He has done a decent job for them since he started in there," said defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. "He's athletic, has a good arm. They've added the zone read and are keeping it in the running game, so he adds some different dimensions that way."

In addition to designed runs, Hundley is also capable of picking up yards by scrambling.

"He will do that," Fangio said. "Like most athletic quarterbacks, he is a threat to scramble. He's done it numerous times in the three games that he's played up to this point and it's something to be concerned about."

Hundley was selected by the Packers in the fifth round of the 2015 draft out of UCLA, where he set a school record with 68 touchdown passes, breaking a mark that belonged to former Bears quarterback Cade McNown.

While Hundley certainly isn't Rodgers, the third-year pro diversifies the Packers offense with his ability to pick up yards on the ground.

"Anytime you're with a quarterback that can pull it and they're playing some of the zone read or the stretch read with him, you always have to account for that," Fangio said. "You can't let it be ignored. It's something we have to be aware of and have handled."

Rodgers has owned the Bears throughout his career, winning 13 of the last 14 games he's started and finished against them. He has also thrown for 21 touchdowns and just one interception in his last eight games versus the Bears, including four TDs and no picks earlier this season in a 35-14 Green Bay victory at Lambeau Field.

But despite his absence, the Bears will approach the Hundley-led Packers with caution on Sunday.

"They've scored on everybody they've played against," Fox said. "It's just a matter of executing and no matter who's in at quarterback or any other position, all these games are close and tightly contested regardless of who's out there."