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GREEN BAY, Wis. – That may be the last thing anyone hears about Aaron Rodgers’ toe.
The Green Bay Packers quarterback made it sound like his toe injury will not be an issue in the playoffs. A sign of that came on Wednesday when Rodgers participated in the first of two training sessions that the team will hold in their playoff week goodbye.
It was only last week that he even practiced more than one day during the week since breaking his left pink toe in early November while in quarantine due to COVID-19.
Rodgers, who had been given regular painkillers to get through games, said he has not needed one recently. The last reference he made to one was after the game against Cleveland Brown’s Christmas Day when he said the toe was stepped on in the first half. – Took care of it during the break and of course felt better, he said after the match.
“I have not taken one for a number of weeks now, so that has been the most encouraging,” Rodgers said Wednesday. “Came through last week without making one. It was just a pretty standard shot in the toe, very painful, an anesthetic. It helped get me through the fights. The whole goal was to be able to avoid doing it. It’s been “a few games without doing it. So I’m fine, practiced today, close to 100%, but think I should be 100% next week.”
Rodgers only played in the first half of Sunday’s regular season finale at the Detroit Lions, a 37-30 loss that did not affect the Packers’ playoff seeding. They had won the No. 1 seed in the NFC the previous week. Coach Matt LaFleur scheduled training this week for today and Thursday and will give the players time off this weekend. It is possible that they may not know their opponent for the division round until Monday night after the last wildcard game.
Rodgers said his goal this week is simple.
“Rest,” he said. “Rest. I mean, I’m about to go home, and that’s what, 12:22 [in the afternoon]? It’s wildly cute. So I want to enjoy this rest. I’m sure a lot of people, hopefully it’s not just me, I still have a half-messy house after Christmas and New Year, and it’s the end of the season, so you do not have time for that. So I’m going to clean my house, I need to rest, I need to read some books, and I need to relax. That’s what I’ll get out of this week. “
As expected, the Packers got outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith back into training on Wednesday for the first time since he underwent back surgery after the season opener. He participated in all exercises during the part of the training that was open to the media. He has only played 18 snaps this season in first-year coordinator Joe Barry’s defense.
“We’re just trying to get him to a position where we feel comfortable where he can not only go out there and compete at a high level, but he has also not really been in the system other than one match,” said LaFleur. said. “So we have to make sure he understands his job responsibilities first and foremost because as we have seen so many times during the season where we have all 11 guys on the same page performing their responsibilities and owning their roles ., I think our defense can be pretty good. And if you have any undisciplined game, then you’ll be beaten. I just think we’ll get him used to practice again and see how it goes and see how it goes. “It’s all connected before we solidify our plan. Fortunately, not only do we have this week, but we have next week to continue to get him up to speed, so to speak.”
Another offensive lineman, right tackle Billy Turner, returned to training. He has not played for a month, first due to a knee injury and then due to COVID. This comes after the return of center Josh Myers and left tackle David Bakhtiari to the regular season finale. Bakhtiari, however, did not train on Wednesday due to what the team called “load control” on his reconstructed left knee.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who left last week’s match due to a back injury, did not train on Wednesday, but teammate Randall Cobb continued his attempt to return from core muscle surgery by training again and appears to be on his way to returning. to the first playoff match.