GREEN BAY, Wis. — Get ready for at least a few more days of speculation about Aaron Rodgers‘ status for Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings.
Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy either could not or would not say anything specific Monday regarding his starting quarterback’s knee injury or his status for Week 2.
“We do have some information and no decision has been made,” McCarthy said. “We’re still collecting all the information.”
“I’m sure there are a lot of experts out there who are forecasting things but we’re taking it one day at a time,” Rodgers said Tuesday on “The Dan Le Batard Show.”
Rodgers was at Lambeau Field on Monday morning, just hours after he pulled off one of the biggest comeback wins of his career. The Packers trailed 20-0 after Rodgers missed three series in the first half, but he threw three second-half touchdown passes to lead Green Bay to a 24-23 win Sunday night over the Chicago Bears. It matched the largest comeback of Rodgers’ career, according to ESPN Stats & Information. The Packers also were down by 20 points in the 2015 “Hail Mary” game at Detroit.
Rodgers said team physician Pat McKenzie had assured him that he could not do any more damage to his knee by coming back into the Chicago game, but the quarterback acknowledged the stiffness and tightness increased as the game went on.
McCarthy indicated that returning to a game and starting the next week are two different things.
“Based on the injury there’s a protocol of what they go through to see if the doctor will clear them to go back out,” McCarthy said. “So I’m not getting into specifics of each and every injury and the protocols of each and every one. But that process went on throughout the second quarter, I want to say, into halftime.
“Frankly, at halftime we were preparing as an offensive staff to play with DeShone [Kizer] and then shortly before we got out to the field, as we were walking to the tunnel, I had a chance to talk to Aaron and Dr. McKenzie, and he was cleared to go.”
McCarthy said Kizer, who had two turnovers in three series, will “work a lot this week.”
Kizer said that even though this is his first season with the Packers, he’s comfortable with their game-planning and preparation process. But ideally, he would like to know as early in the week as possible if he’s going to start.
“Obviously when 12 comes out and plays the way he does in the second half last week, it’ll be nice to see him go out there and command the team again,” Kizer said. “But as far as my position, it’s about doing whatever I can to prepare as best as I can and take the reps I do get and try to prove to my teammates who I am. Once again, an emphasis on creating positive plays and getting out of harm’s way.”
If Rodgers’ status isn’t resolved until Sunday morning, it wouldn’t be the first time the Packers took up until the last minute before they decided to play him. In 2008, Rodgers suffered a right shoulder injury in a loss at Tampa Bay and was not cleared until hours before kickoff the following Sunday against the Falcons.
“But I don’t think it will be like that,” McCarthy said Monday. “I think it will be more on what he can do. Dr. McKenzie and Aaron have a tremendous relationship, so those two guys will go through their process and the decision will be made.”
Rodgers injured his left knee when Bears defensive end Roy Robertson-Harris sacked him and fell on his leg in the second quarter. It’s the same knee that Rodgers had surgically repaired twice — ACL reconstruction after the 2003 season at Cal and a scope after the 2015 NFL season.
He said after the game on Sunday night that there was “a lot of swelling” around his knee but that he intended to play as long as tests Monday showed no further damage than what was determined during initial tests at the stadium during the game.
“I know Aaron wants to play and is always driven to play, but that’s all I have for right now,” McCarthy said.
McCarthy did offer something else on Rodgers’ condition, adding: “He’s sore. He’s walking around in a pair of shorts and tennis shoes and socks, if that helps you with your story. I don’t know what else to tell you.”