GREEN BAY – With the Greg Jennings unlikely to play Thursday night against the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field, quarterback Aaron Rodgers figures to be looking to target Jermichael Finley even more.
Luckily for the Green Bay Packers, the fifth-year tight end has come through many times before against the Bears.
“When you’ve got a big body running down the seams with a large margin of error for the throw because of his range and his hands, it gives you a lot of confidence,” Rodgers said during his weekly radio show on 540 ESPN and ESPNWisconsin.comTuesday afternoon. “Jermichael, confidence-wise, is very high. We have a lot of confidence in him and just have to find ways to get him the ball.”
Last year, the Bears had a hard time containing Finley, who caught four touchdown passes in two games against Chicago, including three in the Packers' 27-17 victory in Week 3 at Soldier Field.
Finley finished that game with seven catches for 85 yards, including a deep catch down the right side of the field for 24 yards.
While Finley acknowledged Wednesday his success against the Bears, he instead focused on the fact that he has been playing well against just about everyone that the Packers have played recently. The tight end had seven catches for 47 yards and a touchdown in Sunday’s loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
“It’s nice to know that for the last four games that I had a pretty good game, so I’m going to be jacked up, regardless of who it is, the Bears, the 49ers,” Finely said. “I’m jacked up regardless, so it just falls on that game.”
While playing the Bears on a short week is challenging, Finley is looking forward to testing the knee of Bears’ linebacker Brian Urlacher. The veteran was pulled from his team’s Week 1 41-22 victory over the Indianapolis Colts in the middle of the third quarter as a precaution. Rodgers spoke highly of Urlacher’s abilities on his weekly radio show.
“He’s still making plays on the ball,” Rodgers said. “When he is out there he adds a lot to the defense leadership wise, and understanding the defense. He’s savvy, he has instincts. He’s still a really, really good player.”
Still, Finley can’t wait to line-up across from Urlacher on Thursday.
“I’m a competitor, I want to win,” Finley said. “Hurt, wounded, whatever he is, I’m trying to go out there and expose him, hands down.”
And even though it’s a rivalry game, Finley said the Bears are “just like any other team,” and that he hasn’t prepared for the matchup any differently.
Just like every game, though, Finley can’t wait to be out on the field.
“It’s going to be great night tomorrow,” Finley said confidently. “I feel it.”
Sarah Barshop covers the Packers for ESPNWisconsin.com. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/sarahbarshop.