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Vikings Preparing for Rodgers to Play on Sunday

EAGAN, Minn. — The world is waiting to see whether or not Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers plays Sunday against the Vikings.

Rodgers didn't practice Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, and Green Bay listed him as "questionable" on Friday's injury report, but one of league's best defenses is preparing as if he will.

"Honestly I don't care about if he is. We know he's playing," Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen said earlier this week.

Griffen later added: "We're just getting ready to play Aaron. I don't know if he's mobile, I don't know if he can run. We don't know anything, so we're just going to go into the game plan that he's running, and we're going to go out there and execute our assignment."

Rodgers injured his knee in Green Bay's Week 1 win against the Bears. Although the Packers trailed 20-0 in the third quarter, Rodgers brought Green Bay back for a thrilling 24-23 victory on national television.

Not that the Vikings were surprised he did so.

"Watching that whole game on Sunday night, seeing him go down, you hate to see somebody get hurt," said Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph. "But then you see him come out to start the second half, and Chicago punts and they get the ball back and score … and [Chicago] punts again and they score, and you just see it playing out because it's happened so many times before.

"You just know how this is going to end. And sure enough, it ended on an Aaron Rodgers touchdown," Rudolph added.

If Rodgers does play Sunday at Lambeau Field, Minnesota expects nothing less than the future Hall of Famer's best, even if he's not as mobile as previous meetings.

Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks said Green Bay's offense has relied on simple and short passes in the past.

"Depending on the look, sometimes he just likes to get the ball out of his hand quickly," Kendricks said. "You get those quick-hitter, 3-, 4-yard pass plays that are essentially like run plays. It's a little part of his game already.

"You saw it in the second half of that last game [against Chicago], but we'll see," Kendricks said. "We'll be game-planning and doing things like that."

The Vikings defense will face their usual stiff test against Rodgers, who has thrown for 4,571 yards with 39 touchdowns and six interceptions in 19 career starts against Minnesota.

But they won't be alone in their quest, as Rudolph said the Vikings offense will need to carry its weight, too.

"For us, we always say this when we're playing these guys, as an offense it's important for us to possess the ball," Rudolph said. "[Rodgers can't have success] if he's not on the field.

"We have a really, really good defense here and have Pro Bowlers and All-Pro guys at every level, but our best defense against Aaron Rodgers is keeping him off the field and our offense is possessing the football," Rudolph added.

The world will know Sunday morning whether or not Rodgers will be active for the 116th Border Battle.

But count on the Vikings defense to be prepared for every situation in the latest edition of the division rivalry.

"I think he's going to play," said Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer. "This guy is one of the best football players that's ever played in the history of the NFL, so I have no doubt that he's going to go out there and give his best shot.

"I watched a lot of tape after he got hurt. The things he was able to do were incredible," Zimmer added. "I know he's going to get ready to play, and hopefully we're going to get ready to play."