So much so that he was replaced by Kylin Hill in the Week 8 matchup against the Arizona Cardinals, where Hill was injured. Following Hill’s injury, Rodgers stepped back in as a returner, which he used to have a lackluster finish to the season.
In returning last season, Rodgers only averaged only 8.3 yards per punt return and 18.1 per kick return, ranking for eighth best in the league on yards per attempt. When comparing Rodgers to other returners based upon all-purpose yards, he ranked 71st overall.
Compared to other starting returners in the league, Rodgers was subpar and even bad at times. When the ball came his way, it looked like he was scared.
In the 2021 offseason, the Packers brought in longtime special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia to help improve a very bad special teams unit. During training camp, players have been seen getting chewed out by the new special teams coordinator, which has improved Rodgers’ mindset going into the 2022 NFL season.
In an interview, Rodgers said that he is “looking for something to improve on every day.”
During his plays in the Week 1 preseason game, Rodgers looked promising, even returning a kick 50 yards (to the excitement of Rashan Gary).
He no longer looked scared when watching the ball on a punt and since it was the preseason, he could attempt returns that he might not normally try during the regular season.
With the 2022 season underway next month, let’s hope that Rodgers continues to look promising and becomes a solid returner for the Packers. If all is well with the Packers’ defense, they should be forcing more punts rather than kick returns.