Packers QB Rodgers expects to make preseason debut Friday
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) Aaron Rodgers is tempering his expectations for himself and the Green Bay offense Friday night.
All Rodgers is expecting is to finally play a game this preseason when the Packers visit the San Francisco 49ers.
''Whatever Mike wants me to do,'' Rodgers said Tuesday, referring to coach Mike McCarthy.
Though playing time for Green Bay's third of four preseason games won't be set until Wednesday, the goal according to McCarthy is to play Rodgers after the two-time MVP quarterback was a healthy scratch the previous two weeks.
''I think I'm going to play,'' Rodgers said after McCarthy put the team through its longest practice of training camp, nearly 2 hours, 45 minutes. ''I'm not sure how long he wants me to play, but it'll be good to get out there and get some work with the guys.''
Not that Rodgers needs much work as he enters his 12th NFL season and ninth as a starter.
Even with top receiver Jordy Nelson returning to the field in recent days after being out nearly a year with knee injuries, Rodgers hasn't felt a need to use the preseason games as an audition for the season. Rodgers said after only two weeks of camp in early August that he felt ready for the season, which opens Sept. 11 at the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Saying he expects Friday's exhibition to be his only game action of the preseason, Rodgers responded with ''nothing'' when asked what he needs to see in whatever playing time he gets.
And Rodgers also doesn't feel the offense, even with two notable additions, needs him on the field in a preseason game to sufficiently prepare for that season opener.
''But it'll be good to feel the tempo if I play - I'm expected to play,'' Rodgers said. ''So if I play Friday, it'll be good to feel the tempo out there if we get some stuff in the no-huddle that we're used to.''
The biggest priority for the 32-year-old Rodgers this summer has been his conditioning, which he says he's accomplished by running the offense at a high tempo in practice, and also with his on-field workouts before the preseason games he hasn't played.
''Actually, the stuff I'm doing on game day is probably more exertion than I would be doing on the field (in the game),'' Rodgers said. ''I've just got to be ready to go four quarters, and I'm confident that the work I've put in in the offseason and the work this past month in camp, I'll be ready to go once the season starts.''
Though Nelson isn't expected to play Friday after being limited to individual work in practice this week, Rodgers will get a chance to work with newly chosen starting center JC Tretter. Likewise with veteran tight end Jared Cook, who the Packers signed in the offseason.
''It's going to be a good test just to see how he runs the offense, how he calls the plays, and for me to keep up,'' said Cook, an eight-year pro.
NOTES: Corey Linsley, who lost his starting job to Tretter, said Tuesday he doesn't think surgery will be needed for the torn hamstring that has kept him out since the start of camp. Linsley also doesn't think his season is in jeopardy because of the injury. ''I'm not giving up on that. I'm not out for the year,'' said Linsley, the starter at center since the beginning of his rookie season in 2014. . Rookie DT Kenny Clark, the team's first-round draft pick, didn't practice Tuesday because of a back injury. DT Mike Daniels was out with an illness. Starting safety Morgan Burnett (back) and backup QB Brett Hundley (ankle) remained out. . The Packers released undrafted rookie OT Josh James, who had been sidelined with a hamstring injury.
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