Packers back at practice without Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers was carted to the locker room before halftime Dec. 28 against the Lions after injuring his left calf. But after missing one drive in the second half, Rodgers was back on the field.

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GREEN BAY, Wis. — As the Green Bay Packers practiced Friday, there was a notable absence in the middle of the field as the quarterbacks warmed up. Matt Flynn was there, as was Scott Tolzien. But there was no sign of Aaron Rodgers.

With nine days before the Packers’ divisional-round game, not having Rodgers on the field could be a common occurrence for Green Bay’s next few practices as he recovers from an injured left calf.

"I really don’t see him getting on the practice field until Thursday, probably at the earliest," said head coach Mike McCarthy, projecting six days ahead.

Rodgers initially suffered the injury Week 16 in Tampa Bay. In the Packers’ regular-season finale, Rodgers injured a different spot on the same calf. Already hobbled, Rodgers fell to the ground untouched Week 17 as he threw a touchdown pass to Randall Cobb near the goal line. Rodgers needed assistance from trainers to get to the sideline and was then carted to the locker room.

"The calf is slowly progressing," Rodgers said at his locker. "I wasn’t out there today. But yeah, we’re right where we need to be in getting ready to hopefully get on the field next week."

With the missed practice time, Rodgers isn’t worried about losing rhythm with the offense. There are other issues that could come about as a result of it, though.

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"It’s just about working on checks and kind of going through the plan," Rodgers said. "That’s why you need to practice."

Rodgers’ mobility could be limited in the game Jan. 11, but he’ll benefit greatly from the first-round bye Green Bay is enjoying. The possibility of having that week off was part of Rodgers’ motivation for returning in the second half against Detroit.

At the time Rodgers exited late in the second quarter, the Packers were winning, 14-0. When he returned in the third quarter, the Lions had come back to tie the game. Rodgers went on to complete 11 of 13 second-half passes for 129 yards as Green Bay won the game — and in the process won the NFC North for the fourth consecutive year.

But, even with the team being off Tuesday through Thursday, it wasn’t enough time for Rodgers to recover from his injury.

"I think the biggest thing is for him to rep the things that he feels that he may need another rep on," McCarthy said. "There won’t be a bunch of new ideas or things that he hasn’t seen or things he doesn’t have the reps with his teammates with. So I’m not really concerned."

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