K1385 BC-FBN-PACKERS 03-31 0930


Rodgers gets big stage early

PALM BEACH, Fla. — Replacing an injured Brett Favre during the middle of an NFL Network game against the Dallas Cowboys is one thing, but replacing the icon for good on "Monday Night Football" against rival Minnesota in front of a home crowd, that’s like being asked to captain a jetliner after your first flying lesson.

Take the wheel, Aaron Rodgers.

"From every angle it’s not going to be easy for Aaron, so let’s just jump into it," Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Monday from the NFL owners meetings. "I’m excited about his opportunity.."


Obviously, the NFL and ESPN were looking for one, too. Perhaps counting on the Packers to use the Monday night venue to retire Favre’s No. 4, the powers that be selected the Packers to be part of an opening weekend schedule of nationally televised games.

Washington will play at the New York Giants on Sept. 4 to kick off the season. On Sunday night, Sept. 7, Chicago will play at Indianapolis, and then on Sept. 8 the Packers will host Minnesota and the Oakland Raiders will host the Denver Broncos as part of a Monday night doubleheader.

All eyes will be on Rodgers in the first half of the Monday twinbill, assuming he’s healthy and still in possession of the Packers’ starting quarterback job. After 16 years and 253 regular-season games with the same guy under center, the Packers will be starting a new era.

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