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 PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PackerReport.