Packers’ McCarthy: Rodgers can play without practicing
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers did not practice again on Friday but that will not preclude him from playing in Sunday’s matchup against the Minnesota Vikings.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy told reporters Friday that Rodgers, who injured his left knee in the first half of the season opener versus the Chicago Bears, is “getting better” and could be on the field Saturday.
“Tomorrow’s practice will be a pretty big indicator,” McCarthy said, per ESPN. “So we’ll see how today goes, but nothing has changed. He’s clearly in the day-to-day. Hopefully he’ll be able to do work tomorrow.”
Even if Rodgers is relegated to a spectator’s role again Saturday, McCarthy did not rule out his star quarterback from starting the NFC North matchup against the visiting Vikings.
“He could play with no reps,” McCarthy said. “We’ve established that point some time ago in his career. So I think it’s no different. You’d like to walk off the field Saturday and have your plan set, but this is the National Football League … things happen.
“Guys get sick on Saturday, too. That’s all part of our process where we work the practice-squad guys in and everything. So we’ll be ready for anything, but I know he wants to play. So we’ll see how it goes.”
A two-time NFL Most Valuable Player and six-time Pro Bowl selection, Rodgers has been going through his normal preparation while backups DeShone Kizer and Tim Boyle have taken the actual snaps in practice.
Rodgers was injured in Sunday night’s 24-23 win when Bears defensive tackle Roy Robertson-Harris fell on his left knee with about nine minutes to go in the second quarter.
The 34-year-old exited the contest and was carted off the field before returning in the third. Rodgers led a comeback from a 20-point deficit that featured three touchdown passes — including a 75-yard touchdown pass to Randall Cobb that put the Packers ahead with 2:13 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Rodgers completed 20 of 30 passes for 286 yards with those three scores, no interceptions and a 130.7 passer rating.
If Rodgers is unable to go, the Packers will turn to Kizer, who was acquired in an offseason trade with the Cleveland Browns. Kizer was shaky when he came on for Rodgers against the Bears. He completed 4 of 7 passes for 55 yards but also threw an interception and lost a fumble.
Turnovers were a major issue for Kizer during his rookie campaign in Cleveland. He threw twice as many interceptions as touchdown passes (22 to 11), lost five fumbles and completed only 53.6 percent of his passes in 15 games.
A second-round pick out of Notre Dame in the 2017 NFL Draft, Kizer posted a 60.5 passer rating as a rookie.