Rodgers Absent as Packers Battle the Chill

Five players did not practice as the Packers opened the doors to the Hutson Center and then ventured outside on Thursday. Plus, Clay Matthews will continue to be limited by his injured shoulder.

As expected, Aaron Rodgers did not practice for the Green Bay Packers on Thursday.

During the portion of practice open to reporters, Rodgers (calf), running back Christine Michael (illness), running back James Starks (concussion), outside linebacker Nick Perry (hand) and right guard T.J. Lang (illness) did not practice. Receiver Randall Cobb (ankle) went through the opening stretch before watching the team run through plays and go through individual drills.

Starks didn’t practice on Wednesday, either. Coach Mike McCarthy said Starks was in a car accident on Monday. He was otherwise unharmed but is in the NFL’s concussion protocol.

McCarthy opened the doors to the Don Hutson Center to let in some of the 9-degree chill before taking the full team out for 11-on-11 reps on the heated and melted outdoor field.

The predicted high for Sunday is 1 degree.

“You’re trying to simulate the game you’re getting ready to play in,” McCarthy said. “You just want it cold. You want the football to be cold and (the players to) handle the football. It’s all about the football. It’s just trying to get the temperatures as close as you can. When we go outside, hopefully we’ll have some wind. It’s really all about the football. The mental part of it, yes, that’s part of it, too. The thing we emphasize is just the communication and so forth. It’s a practice environment and we’re going to get outside and do our team periods. But, at the end of the day, the focus is on handling the ball.”

That’s what makes Rodgers’ absence from practice at least a little worrisome. He potentially could practice on Saturday, but Saturday’s forecast is a high of 22 and snow – not even close to the expectation for Sunday in Chicago.

“We’re going to rely on his experience,” McCarthy said. “He has a lot of experience playing in this climate. I do not have a concern with him missing practice today.”

Clay Matthews was limited participation due to his injured shoulder. He wouldn't rule out the possibility of surgery after the season.

"It’s getting better each and every day," he said. "Each and every week, we do a little bit more. We’ll see what that means moving forward. I anticipate continuing to come in on the pass-rushing downs and hopefully spelling some of the guys a little bit more. But as I’ve said in weeks prior, I did a number to it, there’s some damage in there. It’ll continue to get stronger and better but, unfortunately, until the offseason, it’s not getting 100 percent healthy. I’ll continue, I think, to progress health-wise, strength, range of motion, everything, and hopefully that correlates to more playing time."

Randall Cobb, WR Ankle Limited Limited
Jared Cook, TE Chest Full Full
Mike Daniels, DT Shoulder Not listed Limited
Kyler Fackrell, LB Hamstring Limited Limited
T.J. Lang, G Foot/Illness Limited DNP
Blake Martinez, LB Knee Limited Limited
Clay Matthews, LB Shoulder Full Limited
Christine Michael, RB Illness Not listed DNP
Ty Montgomery, RB Shoulder Full Limited
Julius Peppers, LB Not Injury Related DNP Limited
Nick Perry, LB Hand DNP DNP
Damarious Randall, CB Groin Limited Limited
Aaron Ripkowski, FB Back Full Limited
Aaron Rodgers, QB Calf DNP DNP
James Starks, RB Concussion DNP DNP
JC Tretter, C/G Knee Limited Limited
Johnthan Banks, DB Ankle Limited Limited
Bryce Callahan, DB Knee Limited Limited
Eddie Goldman, DT Ankle DNP DNP
Sherrick McManis, DB Illness DNP Full
Tracy Porter, DB Knee DNP Full
Eddie Royal, WR Toe DNP DNP
Josh Sitton, G Not injury related Not listed Limited
Marquess Wilson, WR Groin Limited DNP

Bill Huber is publisher of and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at

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