Carolina Panthers cornerback Josh Norman didn’t have much voice left Thursday after fighting a cold he says he caught in the wet conditions Monday night against Indianapolis.
But his froggy throat didn’t stop Norman from praising Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the two-time MVP who torched the Panthers last season when Norman was out with a concussion.
Norman said Rodgers gave him a friendly nod during the Packers’ 38-17 last year at Lambeau Field, where Norman could only watch Rodgers complete 19 of 22 passes for 255 yards and three touchdowns.
“I was like, dang ... there’s nothing I can do about it,” Norman recalled thinking. “Now this week I can.”
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Norman returned to practice Thursday after missing Wednesday with his illness. He says his energy level is down, but he expects to be at full strength Sunday against the Packers.
Norman was reminded of Rodgers’ ability to look off defensive backs and “make every throw” when he studied video this week.
“I’m sitting back here watching film on this guy, the stuff that he’s able to do, man. I’m like, I’m going to have to plaster (coverage) all night and not take any plays off,” Norman said. “I’m definitely not going to have to bait him as much because this guy will make you pay for it if you do.”
Norman, whose four interceptions are tied for second behind Oakland’s Charles Woodson’s five, was asked whether his voice would prevent him from talking trash Sunday. Norman said he doesn’t trash-talk unless he’s provoked, as he was during training camp when he and quarterback Cam Newton fought.
“(Newton) was talking to me, and I was like, OK. But he kept talking to the entire defense so I took it personal. I was like, OK, let’s go then,” Norman said. “After a while it gets on my nerves. It’s like the itch on your back you’ve just got to scratch. And I scratched it in a big way.”