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Bruce Arians: Aaron Rodgers’ return to Packers makes them ‘one of top four’

The quarterback’s return puts Green Bay right back near the top of the Super Bowl conversation.
Green Bay Packers' quarterback Aaron Rodgers has a laugh with assistant athletic trainer Kurt Fielding during training camp Wednesday in Green Bay, Wisc.
Green Bay Packers' quarterback Aaron Rodgers has a laugh with assistant athletic trainer Kurt Fielding during training camp Wednesday in Green Bay, Wisc. [ MATT LUDTKE | AP ]
Published Jul. 28

TAMPA — Aaron Rodgers’ return to the Green Bay Packers makes them “one of the top four” teams the Bucs will have to contend with in their attempt to win back-to-back Super Bowls, coach Bruce Arians said Wednesday.

The Packers have enjoyed back-to-back 13-3 records in the regular season and reached consecutive conference title games.

The Bucs beat Green Bay 31-26 in the NFC Championship Game Jan. 24 at Lambeau Field to reach Super Bowl 55.

When asked if Rodgers return to the Packers makes them an instant Super Bowl contender in the NFC, Arians didn’t hesitate.

“I think it’s got to be one of the top four, that’s for sure,” he said. “There’s going to be some improvement in some other teams that’s going to surprise the hell out of everyone, like every year there is. But bringing back Aaron obviously makes them a contender, for sure.”

Rodgers considered retirement in the offseason. But he said returning to the Packers Wednesday “refueled the fire.”

“There’s a lot of fun things about being back,” he said, “and I understand the opportunity that’s here.”

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