GREEN BAY, Wis. – With coach Matt LaFleur walking the fine line of getting his team sharp while keeping the players fresh, the Green Bay Packers conducted a walk-through practice on Wednesday inside the Don Hutson Center.
If the team would have practiced, quarterback Aaron Rodgers (toe), left tackle David Bakhtiari, running back Aaron Jones (out at least this week with a knee injury) and receiver Allen Lazard (shoulder) would not have practiced. Rodgers, Bakhtiari and receiver Davante Adams (limited; shoulder) weren’t on the practice field for the start of practice.
“I’m definitely playing Sunday,” Rodgers said via Zoom. “Today was a mental day, so I think a number of us who either were limited or DNPs. I was thankful to get a day to just do some rehab and we’ll see how the week plays out practice-wise but definitely playing Sunday.”
That’s obviously good, but it’s not an ideal situation as LaFleur tries to work out the kinks of a team that ranks 19th in scoring.
On Monday, LaFleur said “We’ve got to get back on the practice field following a challenging few weeks that included a Thursday night game and Rodgers’ bout with COVID. That hope, however, potentially has been sidetracked by Rodgers’ toe injury, which popped up on the injury report when Rodgers was activated from the COVID list on Saturday.
Rodgers hopes to practice this week but wasn’t sure if that would be the case.
“It’s definitely a better week than last week being separated, being able to go through all the meetings,” he said. “I plan on being at practice on the field tomorrow, not sure how much involvement, I’ll do though.”
Bakhtiari was activated from the physically unable to perform list last week but didn’t practice on Friday, didn’t play on Sunday and wouldn’t have practiced on Wednesday. LaFleur said he was hopeful Bakhtiari would make his season debut but it was a “day-by-day process.”
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Getting back the team’s All-Pro cornerback, All-Pro left tackle and Pro Bowl outside linebacker, to state the obvious, would be a huge lift to the 9-3 Packers.
Green Bay will play at Minnesota on Sunday. The Vikings designated cornerback Patrick Peterson to return from injured reserve and activated safety Harrison Smith from the COVID list. Both players are on track to play on Sunday.
Four players didn’t participate at practice for non-injury reasons. The Vikings have been battling COVID issues.
Packers Injury Report
DNP: LT David Bakhtiari (knee), RB Aaron Jones (knee), WR Alen Lazard (shoulder), QB Aaron Rodgers (toe), WR Malik Taylor (abdomen).
Limited: WR Davante Adams (shoulder), OLB Rashan Gary (elbow), DT Kingsley Keke (concussion), CB Kevin King (groin/shoulder).
Full: TE Dominique Dafney (hamstring), WR Equanimeous St. Brown (ankle), CB Eric Stokes (knee/thumb).
Vikings Injury Report
DNP: CB Mackensie Alexander (not injury related), TE Chris Herndon (not injury related), RT Brian O’Neill (not injury related), DE D.J. Wonnum (not injury related).
Limited: LB Anthony Barr (knee), C Garrett Bradbury (not injury related), CB Bashaud Breeland (groin), S Harrison Smith (not injury related).
Full: LB Blake Lynch (hamstring), WR Adam Thielen (heel/Achilles).