GREEN BAY, Wis. — Whatever happened to Aaron Rodgers’ toe during his COVID-19 quarantine — and he won’t say exactly what it was — kept him from practicing on Wednesday and kept Green Bay Packers coach Matt LaFleur from working on the timing he believes was lacking in the offense upon Rodgers’ return last week.
Rodgers was asked repeatedly about his toe during his weekly appearance on the “Pat McAfee Show” on Tuesday, and then sat out practice on Wednesday. Although it was technically considered a jog-through session, the Packers said he would not have participated even if it had been a regular practice.
The only thing Rodgers would say Wednesday was that it was his toe injury, and nothing else, that kept him out of practice.
“I’m not sure what my status will be tomorrow or Friday, but I’d like to get out there if I’m feeling good enough,” Rodgers said. “But it’s definitely a better week than last week being separated [during the quarantine], being able to go through all the meetings. I plan on being at practice on the field tomorrow, not sure how much involvement I’ll do though.”
While he stressed that it would not keep him out of Sunday’s game against the Vikings, Rodgers could go another week without any significant practice time.
Packers receivers Davante Adams and Allen Lazard also showed up on the injury report because of shoulder issues. Adams was listed as limited, and Lazard did not participate.
Those developments came after LaFleur said some of the Packers’ struggles on offense in the 17-0 win over the Seattle Seahawks were due to a lack of practice time.
“We gotta get back out on the practice field,” LaFleur said earlier this week. “We need those guys just to continue to work on the timing portion, making sure that the details of our route depths and our assignments are on point because I think right now if you just look at the offense as a whole, there is opportunity out there for us. I know we can execute at a higher level. I know we can coach at a higher level. We’re just a little bit off with some of the details, and I think that’s really kind of hurt us throughout really, specifically [on Sunday] but even throughout the course of the season.”
Rodgers hasn’t taken part in a full-length practice in nearly a month. His last regular practice came on Oct. 22 — two days before the game against Washington. The Packers didn’t have any practices — only half-speed sessions during a short turnaround — leading into the Thursday night game at Arizona on Oct. 28. After a weekend off, they held only a short jog-through session the following Monday, Nov. 1. After a day off Tuesday, Rodgers tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday and didn’t return to the team until the day before the Seahawks game.
The Packers managed just three points in the first half against Seattle, and Rodgers finished the game with no touchdown passes and threw an uncharacteristic interception in the end zone.
“It’s more little details,” Rodgers said. “If you watch the film back, we had multiple mental errors and just little detail things that we didn’t do very well, and those need to get cleaned up for sure. As far as the timing, I don’t know if there was a lot of timing issues that we had, it was more of the details and in the schematics that we didn’t do very well on Sunday.”
It has been a long stretch for the Packers, who have two more games before their Week 13 bye — the second-to-last possible off weekend. Still, Rodgers said his only issue is the toe and he felt fine coming back from COVID.
“Obviously, the body is really looking forward to that, as is my toe,” Rodgers said. “But we’ve got two games until then. It’s kind of a day-to-day how I’m feeling, whether or not I’m going to practice, but I didn’t find any issues with recovery, standard Monday and Tuesday, as I’ve done throughout the season. So I feel good wind-wise. I definitely took a few shots on Sunday, but I feel good today on Wednesday.”