GREEN BAY, Wis. — Saturday will be a big day for Aaron Rodgers.
Or it won’t.
The Green Bay Packers quarterback may try to practice Saturday in the team’s final workout before Sunday’s game against Minnesota, but even if he doesn’t, coach Mike McCarthy would have no trouble playing him against the Vikings.
McCarthy said Rodgers’ ailing left knee has improved throughout the week.
“Aaron’s getting better,” McCarthy said Friday. “He was in the meeting this morning. I would say he feels better than he did at the beginning of the week.”
Unlike most teams, the Packers don’t practice on Fridays but instead hold a light on-field session on Saturdays before a Sunday game.
“Tomorrow’s practice will be a pretty big indicator,” McCarthy said during his final media session of the week. “So we’ll see how today goes, but nothing has changed. He’s clearly in the day-to-day. Hopefully he’ll be able to do work tomorrow.”
In the next breath, however, McCarthy said the Packers “don’t really need to see anything [from Rodgers on Saturday] because the classroom work and participation from both Aaron and DeShone [Kizer] is all part of this preparation process. So we’re just going to keep working through that, and we’ll be ready to go.”
“He could play with no reps,” McCarthy added. “We’ve established that point some time ago in his career. So I think it’s no different. You’d like to walk off the field Saturday and have your plan set, but this is the National Football League, things happen. Guys get sick on Saturday, too. That’s all part of our process where we work the practice-squad guys in and everything. So we’ll be ready for anything, but I know he wants to play. So we’ll see how it goes.”
On Thursday, McCarthy said it was “no layup” that Rodgers will play against the Vikings.
Kizer, 0-15 as a rookie starter last year for the Browns, turned the ball over twice in the three possessions he played after Rodgers’ injury. He took all the starter’s reps in practice on Wednesday and Thursday.
Rodgers said it was fair to call his injury a sprain but would not elaborate on the degree or specifics of the injury. He described it as painful and sore in the days after Bears defensive end Roy Robertson-Harris sacked him and landed on it in the second quarter of the season opener. Rodgers returned after missing three series and rallied the Packers from a 20-0 deficit to a 24-23 win, matching the largest comeback of his career. He threw three fourth-quarter touchdown passes — a 39-yarder to Geronimo Allison, a 12-yarder to Davante Adams and the game-winning 75-yarder to Randall Cobb with 2:13 left.