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Green Bay Packers biggest underdogs in Aaron Rodgers’ career


Aaron Rodgers has overcome a lot of obstacles in his career, and still plays with a chip on his shoulder from falling to No. 24 in the 2005 NFL draft.

He’ll have some more motivation next Sunday at the Los Angeles Rams, courtesy of Las Vegas oddmakers.

The SuperBook at the Westgate Las Vegas opened the Green Bay Packers as 8.5-point underdogs in Week 8.

If the line stands, it would represent the largest total by which Rodgers has been an underdog in his career, per ESPN Stats & Information data, and biggest since the Packers were 8-point underdogs to the Seattle Seahawks in 2014. Green Bay was an underdog to the Arizona Cardinals by 7 in 2015, to the New York Jets by 6 in 2010 and to the Atlanta Falcons by 5.5 in 2016. All but the Jets game came in the playoffs.



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Mason Crosby of Green Bay Packers rebounds from disastrous week with game-winning field goal vs. San Francisco 49ers


GREEN BAY, Wis. — A week after missing five kicks, Mason Crosby kicked the game winner for the Green Bay Packers.

Yes, that Mason Crosby.

The same one who missed four field goals and an extra point in a loss at Detroit. This time, Crosby kicked a 27-yard field goal as time expired to give the Packers a 33-30 comeback victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football at Lambeau Field.

It was Crosby’s fourth field goal of the night. He was good from 29, 39 and 51 yards before the game winner. He also made all three of his extra points for a perfect night.

“It’s very apropos,” Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. “What he went through last week and the team to stick with him, and the guys to kind of wrap our arms around him and encourage him the way we do for our teammates was great. And then he responded. The crowd was very encouraging. I was trying to figure out at first if it was kind of a sarcastic cheer, but I felt like it was a pretty heartfelt encouragement after he made four field goals and three extra points. Obviously very happy afterwards and we were very happy for him.”

Eight days earlier in Detroit, Crosby was surrounded by cameras in the visitor’s locker room after the Packers’ loss to the Lions and he said: “I don’t get this much attention unless it’s really bad or extremely good.”

The crowd around him was even bigger in the victorious home locker room at Lambeau Field.

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Mason Crosby expresses his thoughts on his game-winning field goal and how it feels to bounce back after missing five kicks against the Lions.

“Gosh, just so thankful for the Packers organization and my teammates just sticking with me knowing I’ve bounced back a lot in my career,” said Crosby, a 12-year veteran. “I had no days like last week, but this is a special one. This is one of my better days. And to be able to go out there and perform the way I did after last week [was great]. Did a lot of soul-searching this week and made sure I really locked in on my preparation, and it paid off.”

Crosby said he appreciated Rodgers and the offense making the game winner a “chip shot,” as he called it.

He said the more nerve-racking kick was the extra point to tie the game at 30 after Rodgers hit Davante Adams for a 16-yard touchdown with 1:55 left.

“The extra point to tie the game was the one that I was a little more amped up for, making sure I knocked that through,” Crosby said. “But that last one was just kind of muscle memory. The snap came, I felt like I was pretty quick on it and everything was perfect. The protection was great. I felt guys kind of diving in front of me right after, but I was in the zone. It’s special whenever it all comes together that way, and I’m just so thankful for the week of work I had and the guys, how much they never wavered from how they felt about me. To be able to come through like this after a week like I had last week is pretty special.”

An interception by Kevin King with 1:07 left gave the ball back to Rodgers. An illegal contact penalty on 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman wiped out a third-down sack that would’ve killed the drive. Rodgers scrambled on his gimpy left knee for 21 yards, hit Adams for 8 and then rookie Equanimeous St. Brown made a stellar sideline catch for 19 yards, followed by another one to Adams for 19 to set up the game winner.

“That last drive there was unreal,” Crosby said. “The chemistry that this locker room has, everyone is always bringing each other up, trying to make sure that we have each other’s back. Like I said, the guys never wavered from how they felt about me as a man and as a football player. They knew that I worked really hard this week to make sure that I would come through if I was called on this week for this game. Like I said, I’m tired. I’m glad we have the bye week and [I’m] ready to keep moving forward.”

The Packers enter their bye week at 3-2-1 and have four of their next five on the road, beginning at the Rams and at the Patriots. But at least they’re on an emotional high thanks in part to Crosby.

“That’s exactly the way you want to see it end,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “Frankly I wish he didn’t need to kick as many field goals as he did tonight, but yeah definitely, that was a big bounce-back game for Mason and really for our football team. We needed that win.”

And Crosby needed those kicks.

“This week was a grind,” said Crosby, who has made 83.4 percent of his field goals since his career-worst year of 63.6 percent in 2012. “It was one of the tougher weeks of my career just making sure that I didn’t overreact, overanalyze everything. I really did a great job of just locking in and making sure I had good tempo and I kind of just flushed last week and made sure that if I was called upon again this week I was going to come through. Honestly, I had a 51-yarder tonight. When I’m going out there, I was just thankful for another opportunity to hit a kick and felt just really solid with my performance.”



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Jim Taylor, first of Vince Lombardi-era Green Bay Packers inducted into Hall of Fame, dies


Hall of Fame fullback Jim Taylor, who rushed for more than 1,000 yards over five straight seasons with the Green Bay Packers, died Saturday morning at the age of 83, the team announced.

Taylor rushed for 8,207 yards and scored 91 touchdowns in his nine seasons with the Packers from 1958-66, and he was the first of the Vince Lombardi-era players to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, in 1976.

Taylor led the league with 1,474 rushing yards in 1962, when he was named the league’s MVP by The Associated Press.

“Taylor may not be as big as some fullbacks, but he has balance and determination,” Lombardi once said. “He is hard to knock off his feet and he fights for every yard.”

A five-time Pro Bowl selection, Taylor was the Packers’ career rushing leading until Ahman Green broke his mark in 2009. Taylor was a member of the Packers’ NFL championship teams in 1961, 1962 and 1965, and the Super Bowl I title team.

Taylor, a Louisiana native and former LSU star, played his final season in 1967 for the expansion New Orleans Saints.

“That son-of-a-gun is the toughest son-of-a-gun in the league,” Hall of Fame teammate Paul Hornung once said of Taylor. “I’ve seen him run over guys 30 or 40 pounds bigger than he is like that [snap of a finger].”





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Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers hopes to avoid knee brace


GREEN BAY, Wis. — There’s good news and potentially bad news for Aaron Rodgers.

The Green Bay Packers quarterback could have his top three receivers back together for Monday night’s game against the San Francisco 49ers, but he might be a little less mobile than he’d like.

Rodgers experienced what he called a setback with his ailing left knee during last Sunday’s loss to the Detroit Lions, when he took a hit from linebacker Christian Jones on the game’s opening drive.

For the first time since he was injured in the season opener, Rodgers wore a smaller, lighter brace against the Lions. Now there’s a chance he may have to go back to the larger brace that he wore in the three games immediate following the injury.

“I hope not,” Rodgers said. “The goal would be to wear the same brace I wore last week, but I have a lot of faith in our training staff and we’re going to [use] the brace we feel is most safe and allowing me to do exactly what I’m able to do on Monday.”

Rodgers did not practice on Thursday, the Packers’ first of the week in advance of the 49ers game. That followed the same pattern as the last month. He said he hoped to practice on Friday; the past two weeks, he has taken part in that full-pads workout (which is normally on Thursday in advance of a Sunday game).

He did, however, call what happened against the Lions a setback. He threw for 442 yards and three touchdowns against the Lions but was done in by two first-half fumbles on strip sacks, marking only the third time in his career that he lost two fumbles in a game.

“Yeah, kind of a setback last week, the beginning of the week,” Rodgers said. “Got to be in the rehab group again today, got a lot of good work in with [assistant trainer] Nate [Weir] and just hoping I get back out there tomorrow and have a feel-good Friday and a practice [Sunday] and be good to go — hopefully back to where I was in Detroit.”

While Rodgers worked with the trainers, receivers Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison were surprise participants at practice on Thursday after missing the Detroit game. Both had hamstring injuries; Allison also was diagnosed with a concussion. Coach Mike McCarthy said before Thursday’s practice that Allison had cleared the concussion protocol, but indications were both receivers would be in the rehab group.

Instead, they went through at least part of practice, meaning the trio of Cobb, Allison and No. 1 receiver Davante Adams are on the verge of a reunion. The trio hasn’t played together since Week 3 because Cobb missed the previous two games.

Against the Lions, it was Adams and three rookie receivers. Two of them, Marquez Valdes-Scantling (seven catches for 68 yards) and Equanimeous St. Brown (three for 89) made contributions, but Adams (nine for 140 and a touchdown) did the majority of the work.

“I think we can be one of the best in the league,” Adams said of the trio of himself, Cobb and Allison. “I honestly think that because obviously you know how I feel about myself and my game. Randall’s been doing this thing for a long time, longer than I have. I have the utmost respect for him, and G-Mo goes about his business as good as anybody else in the league. So the sky’s the limit for him. I feel like he has not even come close to reaching his potential. He’s shown flashes, but he can do a lot for us.”

Perhaps that will help the Packers get off to a faster start, something Rodgers has identified as a goal. Although they’re 10th in the NFL in total offense, they are tied for 18th in scoring and tied for 19th in red-zone touchdown percentage. They have been outscored 42-13 in first quarters this season and 76-43 in first halves, while averaging just 23 points per game.

“It’s definitely below, and we’ve kind of been stuck at that number,” Rodgers said. “Scored that a couple of times — 22, 24, way up to 29 in Week 2. Not quite the standard that we’ve set here over the years with the type of offense we think we can have and the type of offense we think we could have coming out of training camp.

“I told you guys Week 1 it’s going to be a work in progress; I don’t think we’re far off. I feel kind of like after Washington a couple of years ago [2016, Week 11]. We are very close to getting things going and like I said then and I’ll say again now, I feel like if we can get off to a better start on offense, it makes the entire squad play with a different type of confidence.

“We need to lead from the front as an offense and as a team and give our defense an opportunity to pin their ears back and get after the quarterback and make them a little more one-dimensional.”

A full complement of receivers and the smaller knee brace could help.



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Win over Packers keeps Lions in thick of NFC North – Detroit Lions Blog


DETROIT — Da’Shawn Hand chased Aaron Rodgers in the backfield, the rookie from Alabama stalking after the Green Bay Packers quarterback trying to make a play. He hit him clean, knocked the ball out and recovered it himself.

It was the epitome of what the Lions had been able to do in the first half — a continuation of the positive vibes Detroit had the last time it played in its home building, a surprising win over the Patriots that gave Matt Patricia his first win as a head coach.

This, though, was different. Sunday’s 31-23 win over Green Bay was not as thorough a victory as the win over New England, but it might have carried similar significance.

A loss to New England back in September would have put Detroit’s season in a perilous scenario before the season’s first month ended. In many ways, the Lions were in a similar spot again Sunday against the Packers. Divisional opponent. Detroit’s biggest tormentor over the past decade, Rodgers on the other sideline. And the Lions, again, needing a win to keep their season’s hopes realistically afloat.

Which is why what Detroit did in the first half was so impressive, and what it did in the second half — when it scored only one touchdown and allowed three — was so concerning. In some reality, had it not been for Mason Crosby’s horrific day (four missed field goals, one made field goal and a missed extra point), the Lions might have lost.

But they didn’t.

Beating Green Bay on its own won’t save Detroit’s season. Not considering how much of it is still left to play, and that as good as the Lions looked against the Packers and Patriots, they looked equally bad in games against the Jets and 49ers.

But beating the Packers extends the Lions’ window of relevance in 2018 — a window that would have been close to shut had Detroit lost. That’s just the reality for many 1-4 teams. Now, Detroit’s schedule gets easier. The Lions have a week off. Then they go to suddenly vulnerable Miami before playing Seattle at home before back-to-back road division games at Minnesota and Chicago.

So it gives the Lions a chance. And considering how Detroit started the season, with a blowout loss to the Jets and an uninspiring defeat at San Francisco, that it enters the bye at 2-3 is a reasonable place for Detroit to be.

The Lions appear to have found an offensive rhythm, with three receivers (Golden Tate, Marvin Jones Jr. and Kenny Golladay) capable of going for 100 yards in any game. And before injuring his ankle, Kerryon Johnson was again averaging over 5 yards a carry (12 attempts, 70 yards). And Matthew Stafford again had good protection from an improving offensive line.

The defense, though, had some issues. The cornerback depth is troublesome, particularly with Teez Tabor and Jamal Agnew leaving with injuries Sunday. The front seven was able to create a pass rush but again had issues against the run. It’s an area Patricia has to focus on during the bye.

But the Lions can feel good enough about where they sit heading into the open week — two games back in the division — considering where they started and what they still have to go. Beating the Packers for the third straight time offered them that.



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Green Bay Packers receiver Randall Cobb ruled out for Lions game


GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Green Bay Packers are taking the long view on Randall Cobb, but there’s a chance they’ll have at least one — if not two — of their three starting receivers for Sunday’s game at Detroit.

Cobb will miss his second straight game because of the hamstring injury he sustained in practice on Sept. 30, but Davante Adams will practice on Saturday and if all goes well he should play against the Lions.

The short workout before the team departs for Detroit will be Adams’ first time on the field since he dropped out of Wednesday’s practice with a calf injury.

Meanwhile, Geronimo Allison has made some progress through the concussion protocol and head coach Mike McCarthy said “there’s hope for Geronimo.” Allison was knocked out of last Sunday’s win over the Bills with a concussion in the second half.

Adams, Allison and Cobb have combined for 64 catches, 768 yards and six touchdowns — or 62.1 percent of the team’s receptions, 64.8 percent of the receiving yards and all but one of Aaron Rodgers‘ touchdown passes.

“I think we’ve still got some progress to make before I think both sides would be comfortable,” Cobb said Thursday. “It’s a long season and we’re on Game 5, but at the same time, it’s a short season, and we’re on Game 5. So it’s trying to balance both of those. If something was to happen and I reinjure the same hamstring, it’s going to put me out for double the time. So it’s trying to be smart on both sides of it, which I struggle with because I play through emotion.”

If all three were out, the Packers would be down to their three rookie receivers.

Of the three, only fifth-round pick Marquez Valdes-Scantling has caught a pass (two for 41 yards, including a 38-yarder against the Bills) this season.

Fifth-round pick J’Mon Moore played his first snaps from scrimmage last week against the Bills and did not have a ball thrown his way. He battled drop issues during the preseason.

Sixth-round pick Equanimeous St. Brown has played only special teams this season.

The Packers added a receiver, former fifth-round pick DeAngelo Yancey, to their practice squad on Thursday and have until the end of Saturday to add him to the roster in order to play him on Sunday.

“They’ve all got talent, they’ve all come a long way and at some point you have to find out a little bit more about exactly what you have,” Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin said of the three rookies. “Quez did some good things, obviously made a big play in the game the other day and started to emerge on special teams. J’Mon is continuing to get better and better. EQ was up for the game. They’re a good group. We’ll just see how the rest of the week unfolds.”



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Packers still a work in progress even with shutout of Bills – Green Bay Packers Blog


GREEN BAY, Wis. – Nothing like a bad quarterback – or at least a rookie who isn’t ready to play – to make the Green Bay Packers feel better about themselves.

Sure, there were enough notable performances from the home team in Sunday’s 22-0 victory at Lambeau Field:

  • Jimmy Graham’s first touchdown with the Packers

  • Aaron Jones’ dominance, even in a still-limited role

  • A Clay Matthews (half) sack without a penalty

  • First-round pick Jaire Alexander’s first career interception (that wasn’t wiped out by a roughing flag)

  • The Packers’ first shutout in nearly eight years.

  • And perhaps most important, a more mobile Aaron Rodgers

But Josh Allen isn’t Tom Brady, Jared Goff, Matt Ryan Kirk Cousins or even the suddenly dangerous Mitchell Trubisky – with his six touchdown passes on Sunday. They’re all quarterbacks still on the Packers’ schedule, and they’re all more dangerous than the Bills’ first-round pick.

No wonder Rodgers for weeks has called the Packers “a work in progress.”

Five dropped passes on four different drives cost the Packers points. They punted twice and settled for a field goal on two others.

Without Randall Cobb (hamstring), the Packers played rookie Marquez Valdes-Scantling as the third receiver and his miscue on a route would have been a pick-6 if Bills cornerback Ryan Lewis hadn’t dropped the ball.

But the biggest difference was in the quarterbacks.

Much like Dom Capers’ defenses did, new coordinator Mike Pettine feasted on a rookie quarterback. The Packers sacked Allen seven times (three of them by Kyler Fackrell), picked him off twice and forced a fourth-quarter fumble to clinch their first shutout since a 9-0 win over the Jets on Oct. 31, 2010. The Bills totaled just 145 net yards, while Allen completed just 16 of 33 passes for 151 yards with two interceptions and passer rating of 36.3.

Alexander benefited from an amateurish decision by Allen to heave a ball late over the middle into the end zone, where Alexander picked it off in the second quarter. Safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dixthen picked off Allen in the second half for his third interception of the season.

Matthews and Nick Perry shared a sack in the second quarter and no, Matthews wasn’t flagged for roughing the passer for the first time in four games this season.

There were signs of progress on offense, too.

Rodgers moved better than at any time since he injured his left knee in the opener. He scrambled for a 10-yard gain to set up the Packers’ set touchdown and then again for 15 yards to set up a field goal to close the first half.

Rodgers went 22-for-40 with 298 yards, including a 3-yard touchdown pass to Graham for his first in Green Bay and his first interception of the season on a twice-tipped pass.

Jones showed why eventually he will be the Packers’ go-to running back. And by eventually, perhaps that will be next Sunday at Detroit. Jones still played after Jamaal Williams and Ty Montgomery took their turns, but much like when he made his season debut a week earlier at Washington, he was instant offense.

Jones’ first possession featured a run for 30 yards, a screen pass for 17 and a 3-yard touchdown. Jones rushed 11 times for 65 yards as a part of a 141-yard rushing day that put the Packers at 2-1-1 after the first quarter of the season.



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‘Zero concerns’ about Green Bay Packers’ even-keeled Randall Cobb – Green Bay Packers Blog


GREEN BAY, Wis. — Downtrodden on Sunday, reflective on Monday, refreshed on Wednesday and cheerful on Thursday.

Welcome to Randall Cobb‘s week.

At least that’s how it looked from outside as the Green Bay Packers receiver dealt with the worst game — his analysis — of his football career. Not just in his eight NFL seasons but in college and afore.

To those on the inside, however, Cobb was Mr. Even Keeled.

“I have zero concerns about him,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “He’s the same guy every day. He’s got tremendous work ethic. So it was a hard game for our team. We knew it going in. I thought they did a good job with the adjusted preparation going into it. You know we needed to be better from the corrections we make today from that game yesterday.”

If nothing else, Cobb’s week offered a glimpse into the emotional gamut that can be the NFL — if you let it — whether it’s after a good game or a bad one. In Cobb’s case, it followed a two-drop, one-lost-fumble showing in the Packers’ 31-17 loss to the Redskins at a rain-soaked FedEx Field.

No Sunday Funday

The visitor’s locker room in Landover, Maryland is divided into two parts: the defense is on one side of a partition and the offense on the other.

There were two big crowds one each side.

One surrounded Clay Matthews as he discussed yet another roughing-the-passer call against him.

The other waited for Cobb because they knew he would own up to his performance, which, of course, he did.

When asked what bothered him the most right then, he said: “My performance. I didn’t give us an opportunity to win. A third-down drop on the first drive, the fourth-down drop, a fumble. I played terrible and I didn’t give us an opportunity to win.”

Cobb caught four passes for only 22 yards while targeted 11 times.

His first drop came on the Packers’ opening drive. On third-and-9 at the Packers’ 36, he failed to haul in a ball at the 47-yard line for a sure first down. He almost got away with the second one, in the third quarter on a fourth-and-2 at the Washington 43, but a Redskins replay challenge revealed that Cobb failed to secure what would’ve been a 3-yard catch in a 28-17 game. The final offense came in the fourth quarter, with the deficit still at 11, when Cobb lost a fumble after a short catch.

Given the chance to blame it on the rain, Cobb refused.

“No, that has nothing to do with it,” Cobb said. “We’ve played in these conditions before. It’s on me.”

Monday mood

A night at home with his wife, Aiyda, and newborn son, Caspian made it much easier to come back to work on Monday and review the game film with his teammates at Lambeau Field.

“Definitely helps,” Cobb said Monday. “I used to ride that emotional roller-coaster, of the way the game went or whatever. Performance-based messages. I had 80-some text messages after the Chicago game [in Week 1], but I didn’t have many after this game. I used to ride that emotional roller coaster, now I stay grounded. The same way I was feeding my baby in the middle of the night after the Chicago game, he was there for me when I was having a bad moment.”

It was the first Monday this season that Cobb had to watch negative tape on himself. Two weeks earlier, he caught the game-winning 75-yard touchdown pass to beat the Bears, and through two games, he — not Davante Adams — led the Packers in receiving yardage. The Packers’ decision to keep Cobb and cut Jordy Nelson — both scheduled to make in the $10 million range this season — looked solid. But on the same day Cobb struggled, Nelson caught six passes for 173 yards and a touchdown for his best game as an Oakland Raider.

By the time Cobb left the stadium Monday afternoon to enjoy an off today on Tuesday, it was behind him.

“That day is over,” Cobb said. “Put that day behind me, go back to work and do everything I can to prepare myself for Buffalo.”

Wednesday wisdom

Cobb knew he didn’t have to deal with this on his own, but it still had to be heartening to hear what his quarterback said Wednesday when asked about Cobb’s performance against the Redskins.

“He’s a lot like I am: disappointed, looking at your own performance first and frustrated by some of the things that didn’t go well,” Aaron Rodgers said. “I was frustrated in just talking to him. I had him a couple times. I had him on the facemask penalty, where he ran kind of an inside go route on the right side where I threw it to Davante and we had a [pass interference penalty] and a facemask, but I could have gone to Randall for a big play.

“I missed him later when he made a really smart adjustment on a seam route down the middle. That’s what I was talking to him about. Not trying to pick him up but just to remind him that, ‘Hey, we’re all being honest about our performances.’ Obviously, he doesn’t want to fumble the ball or drop the ball and he’s made a ton of plays for us over the years. It does not in any way adjust my confidence in him throwing him the ball or getting him involved. He’s our guy, so we’re going to keep going to him and expecting great things out of him.”

When told of Rodgers’ comments, Cobb said: “That’s huge.”

“We all want to make every play every opportunity we get,” he said. “Sometimes I have to pick up the slack if he makes a bad pass, I’ll make the play for him. Sometimes he picks up the slack for me. It’s being able to bounce that off of each other, and we always have each other’s back.”

Thursday surprise

Cobb and his teammates received another mental boost Thursday, when McCarthy announced that Rodgers would practice on a limited basis.

It was the first time since his Week 1 knee injury that Rodgers practiced before the team’s weekly Saturday session — an abbreviated, non-pads workout.

But there was Rodgers in full pads on Thursday with the rest of his team.

“It was nice,” Cobb said of having Rodgers on the field. “It’s important to have him out there every day for practice — all of us. It just depends on what you’re dealing with. If you can be out there, we need you out there. If you can’t, then handle what you can.”

Cobb even caught a glimpse of backup quarterbacks DeShone Kizer and Tim Boyle giving Rodgers a mock cheer as walked onto the field.

“They knew the cameras were on them,” Cobb said with a smile as another day in his week came to an end.



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Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers to be limited participant in practice


GREEN BAY, Wis. — There’s progress with Aaron Rodgers‘ left knee.

For the first time since the Packers quarterback injured his knee in Week 1, he will practice before the team’s weekly Saturday session.

Coach Mike McCarthy said Rodgers will be limited in Thursday’s practice, which is typically the team’s longest workout of the week. The Packers don’t practice on Fridays but instead hold a short on-field session about 24 hours before game time.

“Any time your quarterback [doesn’t practice] — I don’t care what team you’re on or wherever I’ve been, when your quarterback doesn’t practice — it’s different,” McCarthy said this week. “I mean, Aaron Rodgers brings a tremendous amount of — forget about the game plan or the scheme you’re running that week. The competitive nature. When you talk to defensive coaches, and I had one recently with one of the newer guys on our staff about other places and different [things]. When you feel a quarterback on the field, that’s huge as far as his cadence, his presence, the competition. That’s such a big part. Those are things that don’t show up in a scouting report or that you can see on video.

“So I think clearly any football team that doesn’t have their starting quarterback, especially the greatness of Aaron, it’s definitely different in practice. And obviously if we didn’t think it was important we wouldn’t practice. But it’s part of your preparation.”

Rodgers indicated Wednesday that his lack of practice time didn’t affect his performance in Sunday’s 31-17 loss at Washington, but whatever work he gets in on Thursday will mean his most prep time since the season opener, which is the Packers (1-1-1) only win of the season.

Rodgers has played every snap in the two games since his injury but missed a total of five practices, including Wednesday’s session — the first in advance of Sunday’s game against the Bills at Lambeau Field.

“Practice?” Rodgers said Wednesday, channeling his inner Allen Iverson. “What do you want to talk about? It’s practice. I do love to compete. There’s no doubt about it. It is difficult and different for me to not be out there. I’m one who always loves being out there because you’re not just competing but you’re working on things with the guys and working on the game plan especially on days like Wednesday and Thursday. So that’s been obviously a struggle for me. But I’ve been putting a lot of good work in with Nate and our training staff. That’s how I’m able to play. That’s the tradeoff — not being out there for practice but the tradeoff is I can actually get out there and play on Sunday.

“It’s three weeks now, 2½ games of dealing with this, so I feel good about my movement. I’m getting better. And hopefully at some point I’ll be able to practice again before Saturday. But other than that, just getting ready to play.”

McCarthy also said tight end Jimmy Graham, who did not practice on Wednesday, will return in a limited fashion. McCarthy said Graham (knee) was held out because of “maintenance” and did not have an injury of concern. Right tackle Bryan Bulaga, who left Sunday’s loss with a back injury, also is in the limited practice category. However, right guard Justin McCray (shoulder) is not expected to play this week. Veteran Byron Bell is expected to start in his place.



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Packers DB Davon House to have shoulder surgery


GREEN BAY, Wis. — Green Bay Packers veteran cornerback Davon House is expected to undergo shoulder surgery that will end his season, a source told ESPN.com.

House will be placed on injured reserve, and the Packers are expected to sign at least one cornerback.

The team had a group of corners in for workouts on Tuesday, including Bashaud Breeland, David Amerson and Arrion Springs. Breeland was one of the top corners on the market this past offseason and initially signed a three-year, $24 million contract with the Carolina Panthers in the early days of free agency but had that contract voided after he failed his physical because of a foot injury. He spent his first four seasons with the Redskins.

Amerson signed with the Chiefs as a free agent during the offseason after spending his first five seasons with the Redskins and Raiders, where he started a combined 56 games in five seasons.

Springs also was with the Chiefs during the preseason and began the season on their practice squad.

The Packers re-signed House to a one-year, $1.005 million deal after he played in 12 games for them in 2017. He began his career in Green Bay as a fourth-round pick in 2011 and then signed with the Jaguars in 2015.

A source said he has been dealing with a shoulder injury throughout the early part of this season. He tried to play through the injury, but it will require surgery. The injury dates back to last season and the hope was that it would heal without surgery, but he aggravated it again this year.

The Packers also have another injured cornerback, Kevin King. Last year’s top draft pick missed Sunday’s game at Washington because of a groin injury.

The Packers will also have a roster spot open when they place defensive tackle Muhammad Wilkerson on injured reserve because of the ankle injury he sustained Sunday at Washington.



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