GREEN BAY, Wis. — Aaron Rodgers, who was a last-minute scratch from Thursday’s preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens because his back tightened up, is expected back on the field the next time the Green Bay Packers practice.
That session is scheduled for Sunday.
“Yeah, that’s the plan, but you know, a lot of it is going to be predicated on how he feels,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur said Friday. “I think he feels better, but we’ll see Sunday.”
LaFleur had planned to play Rodgers “about a quarter so” with the starters in what would have been his debut in the Packers’ new offense, but LaFleur said the team held out Rodgers as a precaution. Rodgers did not play against the Texans in the preseason opener, when almost all of the starters were held out.
Given that Rodgers hasn’t played in a preseason finale since 2012, that would leave next week’s third exhibition game against the Oakland Raiders as the most likely time for him to play, if does at all, before the Sept. 5 season opener against the Chicago Bears. The issue is the game next Thursday is in Winnipeg, Canada, at IG Field, which has a FieldTurf and has never hosted an NFL game.
The Packers will send their football logistics/team travel manager to Winnipeg early next week, but LaFleur did not anticipate any issues with the field.
“No, we’ll evaluate the surface obviously before we play the game,” LaFleur said. “Matt Klein’s going up there a couple of days early, so he’ll be able to evaluate it as well. It seems like it’s a relatively new stadium. It looks pretty nice, but I guess until we get there, we won’t know.”
Without Rodgers, the starting offense played two series with DeShone Kizer at quarterback in the 26-13 loss at Baltimore. They turned the ball over on downs and managed a field goal.
Last summer, Rodgers played just seven snaps in the preseason, but LaFleur was hoping to get Rodgers more work than that given that it’s a new offense.
“I just think those guys all going out together prior to the Chicago game just to work the kinks out, if there are any, but just to try and get into a flow of the game,” LaFleur said. “Having him hear the play calls when he’s actually the guy out there, get in and out of the huddle. I thought he’s definitely helped stress that urgency to the other 10 in the huddle and I thought last week was better. It’s more or less just getting into that flow.”
The only other injury update LaFleur provided was about himself. He conducted both his postgame news conference Thursday and Friday’s briefing without the walking boot he has worn on his left foot since he under surgery in June to repair his ruptured Achilles.
Asked whether he’s done with the boot, LaFleur said: “I’m trying to be. I told ‘Flea’ [head athletic trainer Bryan Engel], I’m not wearing that boot this week. So we’ll see.
“I’ve been pretty good up to this point. I’ll just tell you, you’re not used to standing for that period of time in that boot. By the end of the game, my heel is on fire. So I’m ready to get out of it.”