As we rediscover every week in the NFL, just about any play or player can swing a game in an unexpected direction. Last week in Los Angeles, Eric Kendricks' first-quarter sack and second-quarter interception led to an unexpected pleasure for Vikings fans — Kirk Cousins throwing sharply downfield to secure a supposedly difficult road victory.

Today at U.S. Bank Stadium, the deciding factor could be a game plan or an instinctive play. Could be Aaron Rodgers' arm or Justin Jefferson's toe-tapping feet. Who knows?

What we do know is that there is one appendage that could be important today and is likely to be vital over the rest of the NFL season, or at least the NFC competition. It's Rodgers' injured toe.

That toe kept Rodgers from practicing much this week. He looked rusty last Sunday, following 10 days on the COVID list.

A few NFL analysts have blamed a nagging toe injury for Patrick Mahomes' slump this season. If the toe bothers Rodgers enough to keep him from practicing before a game against the Vikings, it's probably an ongoing concern, especially for a team that may be one of the best in the NFL.

If Rodgers' mobility is limited, he becomes a less effective quarterback. And if the toe alters his throwing motion, it could lead to a poor performance today, or further injury. Ask any big-league pitcher — a lower-body injury can lead to overthrowing with the upper body, potentially straining the elbow, shoulder or core muscles.

The Vikings are remarkably healthy, considering this is a Week 11 game and they are coming off consecutive road games against contending teams. They are not missing any starters.

The Packers are clearly the better team once again, but their superiority is largely based on Rodgers' greatness. If he can't be great today, the advantage may swing to the Vikings, who need to win today far more than the Packers do.