Packers' Rodgers looking forward to returns of Favre, Starr - Sports Illustrated

Packers' Rodgers looking forward to returns of Favre, Starr

Publish date:

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) Aaron Rodgers often speaks with pride about the history of the Green Bay Packers, a franchise that has been fortunate to have three of the game's best quarterbacks on its side.

All three of them could be at Lambeau Field for one memorable Thanksgiving night.

Rodgers is a definite with the Packers facing the Chicago Bears on Thursday. At halftime, former quarterback Brett Favre's name and retired number will be unveiled inside the stadium in a ceremony that Hall of Fame quarterback Bart Starr is hoping to attend.

''Yeah, it's great, it's great for the Packers,'' Rodgers said Tuesday. ''We won't see the halftime festivities, but it will be a great day for all Packer fans.''

It's the completion of a season-long reconciliation between Favre and the franchise that he helped revive when he arrived in 1992. Favre made a triumphant return to Lambeau in July, when the Packers held ceremonies to induct him into the team's Hall of Fame, and to retire his jersey.

The sides had a messy split in 2008. Favre was replaced by Rodgers, a first-round draft pick who was the backup for three years.

''I think it's been a good proper healing process for everybody,'' Rodgers said.

It's a process that has been years in the making.

For Rodgers and Favre, it may have started when they shared the stage for a humorous few minutes at the NFL Honors awards show in 2013.

''Kind of starting with us on stage at the honors, getting to share some laughs together, and just going from there,'' Rodgers said. ''It's the right thing to do, and be exciting for him and Packer fans in a couple days, and great to see him into the Hall of Fame next offseason.''

The general assumption is that Favre will be elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in February.

Starr, 81, is already in the hall. One of the most beloved players in Packers history is recovering from two strokes and a heart attack, and his family has said it is hopeful he will be at Lambeau on Thursday.

''Cherry and I are so excited about our trip to Green Bay,'' Starr said in a recorded interview with WTMJ-4 in Milwaukee that aired on Monday.

Rodgers said Starr has been a ''great encouragement'' to him since he was drafted in 2005. Rodgers loves the stories that Starr relates about his trips to the Super Bowl or NFL championships.

''It's always fun being around him, but he's such a positive, encouraging person. It'll be great to see him,'' Rodgers said.

What isn't as much fun for the Packers is the quick turnaround after playing on Sunday. The Packers have 16 players on their injury report, though Rodgers did drop off the report after a one-week appearance for a sore right shoulder.

''Aaron's good. He's sore, just like everybody is,'' coach Mike McCarthy said.

Green Bay returned to practice Tuesday after taking a day off following the 30-13 win over Minnesota that snapped a three-game losing streak.

Meeting time and mental preparation is of utmost importance with the short turnaround. The Packers didn't really have much time to take in film from the Vikings game.

The coaching staff actually started preparing for the Bears on Friday while juggling getting Minnesota prep, too.

''So these are the grind-it-out weeks, when you've just got to push through anything, any soreness you're dealing with, and stick to your preparation plan,'' Rodgers said.

NOTES: C Corey Linsley and WR Ty Montgomery, who each had ankle injuries, did not practice. S Micah Hyde, carted off the field on Sunday because of a recurring hip injury, was listed as limited at practice.



AP NFL website: and AP NFL Twitter feed: