A lengthy Green Bay Packers injury report Thursday included an unexpected name: star quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Rodgers was listed as a limited participant in practice Thursday afternoon and appeared on the 20-player report with a knee injury, which was not mentioned during last Sunday’s postgame against the Dallas Cowboys. His status is unknown, as ESPN’s Rob Demovsky said the injury report was released after reporters spoke with players.
Two of Rodgers’ top targets — wideouts Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling — were also listed with Adams still out recovering from a turf toe injury he sustained Week 4 against the Philadelphia Eagles and Valdes-Scantling limited after picking up a calf/hamstring issue.
Rodgers did not play during the preseason games, missing his scheduled appearance in the second one at the Baltimore Ravens with back tightness that was cleared up well before the beginning of the 2019 season. Rodgers has since played without apparent issue in the five regular-season games, helping lead the Packers to a 4-1 start behind a new and improved defense.
The Packers will look to keep their strong start going in prime-time this week with a 7:15 p.m. C.T. kickoff against the Detroit Lions on Monday Night Football at Lambeau Field.
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Numbers Have Dipped Some For Rodgers in 2019
It’s been a long time since the Packers defense was propping up its offensive unit, especially with Rodgers and Hall of Famer Brett Favre commandeering the ship for the better parts of the last three decades or so. Even as Green Bay slid to 6-9-1 last season, Rodgers was stellar in the passing game with the second-most passing yards (4,442) of his career with just two interceptions, despite only 25 touchdown throws.
Defense, though, has mostly been behind the Packers’ early success as the offense has often started well in its first few series before drying up down the stretch. It happened just last week, in fact, when the Packers pulled ahead 24-0 only to finish with a closer-than-necessary 34-24 victory in Arlington, Texas.
Aside from a 422-yard, two-touchdown passing performance in Week 4’s loss to the Eagles, Rodgers has passed for no more than 238 yards in the other four games with zero scoring passes against the Cowboys — though, Aaron Jones rushing for a franchise-record-tying four touchdowns certainly diminished the need for him to throw in the red zone.
That’s not to suggest the Packers should doubt their star passer — c’mon, it’s Aaron Rodgers — but tweaks to the offense to ensure better consistency is made more difficult with injuries restraining numerous offensive playmakers this week and last in practice.
Tim Boyle is the Next Man Up
The Packers still have two days of practice before designating statuses for Monday’s game, and even then a questionable status could simply be cautious if that is how they choose to list Rodgers ahead of facing the Lions. Should he not be able to play, though, Tim Boyle would make the first start of his NFL career.
An undrafted rookie free agent in 2018, Boyle outdueled DeShone Kizer for the backup quarterback spot on the Packers’ initial 53-man roster coming out of training camp. He excelled in the preseason, completing 60 percent of his 57 passes for 356 yards and five touchdowns without throwing an interception.