GREEN BAY, Wis. – In his comeback game from COVID against Seattle, Aaron Rodgers didn’t practice. Last week against Minnesota, Rodgers practiced only on Friday. This week, Rodgers will have no practice under his belt to face the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday as he deals with a broken pinky toe.
“It’s been how it’s been going the past couple of weeks,” offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett said. “The one thing that I’ll tell you is, my respect for him as a player goes up non-stop. Everybody talks about how he can throw the ball as good as he can, but his toughness is unbelievable. For him to do what he’s doing with this going on is awesome. We trust him a ton and know that he’s going to do whatever he needs to do to get ready for the game and to be able to go there. Just again, his toughness is unbelievable. That needs to be talked about even more with this guy. He’s a stud.”
After an inconsistent first half at Minnesota following some Friday practice reps, he found his groove and lit up the Vikings during the second half of a narrow defeat on Sunday. This week against the Rams, the Packers will need a more complete game from Rodgers with no practice time at all
“He’ll play,” coach Matt LaFleur said after Friday’s practice.
Rodgers was not given an injury designation on the final injury report.
Rodgers was present for the 11-on-11 periods, at least, but didn’t participate as he tries to milk every second of recovery time out of the week.
“He was out there and relaying the calls to Jordan, just getting that practice of saying the play-calls,” LaFleur added. “It’s just making sure that the communication’s on point in terms of making sure he’s comfortable with everything that we’ve put in the plan and how we’re going to attack L.A.’s defense.”
While there’s a Saturday walk-through, Rodgers will face the Rams with no full-speed practice reps. It's not what the team or player was hoping for but that is the reality ahead of a big NFC showdown between championship contenders.
Rodgers on Wednesday hoped his preparation this week would be the same as last week, with him getting some live reps on Friday.
“We have adjusted a little bit on Friday,” Rodgers said when looking back to how he practiced last week. “Friday is red zone, usually. We just extend a little bit of the walk-through to have some more first- and second- and third-down plays that I can walk through, but that’s the beauty of communication.
“Throughout the week last week, I was circling plays on the play sheet that I might want at least a walk-through rep of once we got later in the week. We do walk-throughs every day, and so I’m obviously taking all of those. If I’m able to practice, I’ll definitely make sure we can hit some of those first-, second- and third-down plays on Friday when it’s just the red zone, and obviously Matt and Hack are very accommodating to that.”
Instead, he won’t even have those full-speed reps as the Packers face a Rams defense that ranks fifth in the NFL in opponent passer rating.
On Wednesday, Rodgers said getting through the injury is about “pain management.” Surgery could be a consideration during next week’s bye, with the procedure perhaps accelerating his recovery while not keeping him out of any games.
“Thankfully, we’ve got a great foot guy in town [Dr. Robert Anderson] – the best in the business, who everybody sends stuff to – but I’ll definitely look at all options over the bye and decide what would be best to make sure that I get to the finish line,” Rodgers said.
Cornerback Kevin King is doubtful. Running back Aaron Jones, outside linebacker Rashan Gary and receiver Allen Lazard are questionable.