GREEN BAY, Wis. — As Aaron Rodgers gingerly jogged back to the huddle 10 days ago after running for a first down that injured his left hamstring, it made last week a perfect time for the Green Bay Packers to have a bye.
Rodgers was clearly hampered by the injury for the rest of the Packers’ loss to the New Orleans Saints. He uncharacteristically threw two interceptions (bringing his season total to just three) and showed little mobility in the pocket following the hamstring injury.
After a week off, though, Rodgers was back at practice Wednesday for Green Bay and showed no signs of the injury that slowed him.
"It’s feeling better now," Rodgers said at his locker.
Rodgers did admit that it "took most of the (bye) week" for his hamstring to start feeling better.
"Stuck to my program that the medical staff gave me for my rehab," Rodgers said. "I got a little acupuncture, which helped release it a little bit. But it’s feeling better."
This was the second hamstring injury of Rodgers’ career. The first time it happened was in a practice during the 2007 season when Rodgers was still Brett Favre’s backup.
"I’ve taken care of my body well over the years," Rodgers said. "Just had the unfortunate one in ’07 in practice at the end of a long practice and then this one in the game, which I think was more about the field, I think. You know, it’s a fast surface (in New Orleans), but it doesn’t always go well with joints and muscles on that kind of turf sometimes. But, you know, it happened, I feel better now, but those things happen from time to time."
With a desperate 3-5 Chicago Bears team traveling to Lambeau Field this Sunday night, the Packers are fortunate to have Rodgers ready. Chicago’s season is essentially on the line. Plus, Green Bay’s 5-3 record right now isn’t good enough to get into the playoffs. The Packers trail the Detroit Lions (6-2) for the NFC North lead and are currently ranked seventh in the conference, making them the odd team out of the postseason picture.
"I trust that by Sunday that it’s not going to be an issue," Rodgers said. "I just have to play my game and, if something happens, I might dial it back a little bit. Matt (Flynn) makes fun of me a lot; my calves often cramp up in the cold weather for some reason. So I’ll make sure I am smart with those and my hamstring this week and hopefully be ready to go."