GREEN BAY – Packers QB Aaron Rodgers will be rehabbing rather than practicing on Wednesday, and his status is day to day for the Week 2 showdown with the Vikings.
“Obviously there’s the hope of playing,” Head Coach Mike McCarthy said prior to Wednesday’s practice. “He’ll be given the whole week to get ready. We’ll take it day by day and learn as we go.”
Whether or not Rodgers is able to practice at all this week remains to be seen.
“He’ll be in the rehab group today,” McCarthy said. “He’s always responded. He puts a lot of extra time in. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.”
That leaves the bulk of the practice reps this week to No. 2 QB DeShone Kizer, who had a rough regular-season debut in relief of Rodgers last week.
Kizer came in and played the final nine minutes of the second quarter, turning the ball over twice – once on a strip-sack in the red zone when the Packers would have at least kicked a field goal, and then with a pick-six on a screen pass that went awry.
Kizer’s focus in practice this week will be on cleaning up his ball security.
“You can’t play quarterback, period, if you can’t take care of the football,” McCarthy said. “If you look at our history here as far as turnover ratio, the amount of time and energy we put into drilling and taking care of the football, it’s been a real strength, and it’s a tremendous strength of Aaron Rodgers and how he plays the position. DeShone needs to learn from those two plays.”
On the flip side, the Packers’ defense did not get a turnover against the Bears until the game’s final play, which made the comeback more difficult, yet the defense got the job done without the big momentum swing a turnover can provide.
“It’s hard to overcome the turnover ratio. We were minus-2 up until the last play of the game,” McCarthy said. “To be minus-2 and win that game, that’s not the norm. It points to the ability of our defense to keep us in it and keep points off the board.”
Perhaps the biggest negatives defensively were the three roughing-the-passer penalties. McCarthy said the way they were called, it’s clearly an emphasis for the officials and the Packers must adjust accordingly.
“We had three. We’ll learn from it. Were they close? Yeah they were, two of them. One was totally unnecessary on our part,” McCarthy said, referring to the call on Clay Matthews on the first fourth down late in the game. “But three in one game is outrageous. They could have affected the outcome of the game.”