GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP)Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers already has played through a broken thumb and injured ribs this season.
Now he’s dealing with a knee issue as he attempts to keep the Packers in playoff contention.
Rodgers didn’t practice Wednesday because of the knee problem but says he has no worries about his availability for Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings (12-3).
Rodgers said he expects to practice later this week and considered Wednesday more of a veteran rest day.
”I think I’ll be out there tomorrow and kind of business as usual,” Rodgers said.
The four-time MVP appeared to hurt his left knee while getting sacked by Eric Rowe late in the second quarter of the Packers’ 26-20 Christmas Day victory at Miami.
Rodgers remained in the game and helped the Packers (7-8) rally from a 20-10 deficit for their third straight victory.
”I got a lot of body weight on my knee, had some extra flexion I haven’t known for the last 20 years,” Rodgers said. ”So (I’ve) just been doing rehab the last few days and feeling a lot better.”
Rodgers has started each of Green Bay’s 15 games this season, but staying on the field hasn’t been easy.
He broke his right thumb while getting hit on the final play of a 27-22 loss to the New York Giants in London on Oct. 9. That started a five-game skid that dropped the Packers to 3-6.
Injured ribs forced Rodgers to leave the Packers’ 40-33 loss at Philadelphia on Nov. 27. Rodgers returned to play at Chicago the next week as Green Bay rallied in the fourth quarter for a 28-19 victory that started their current winning streak.
Those injuries could help explain why the 39-year-old Rodgers hasn’t approached his MVP form of the 2020 and 2021 seasons.
Rodgers has 11 interceptions, his most in a season since 2010. The only year Rodgers threw more picks was 2008, when he had 13 in his first season as a starter.
He has a passer rating of 91.3 after leading the league in that category in 2020 (121.5) and 2021 (111.9). In Rodgers’ 14 previous seasons, he hasn’t finished with a passer rating lower than 92.7.
”Based on the way things have gone the last couple years winning MVP, that’s the standard,” Rodgers said. ”I know I won it four times and (am) thankful for each of those seasons and the seasons I was in the mix, as well.
”With that comes a lot of people you’re relying on. As much as the MVP is a singular award, it does take a team around you to be playing at a high level and winning football games. That’s how you get individual accolades. That’s how you get Pro Bowl selections. Obviously, we all haven’t done enough to warrant, really, any of that, and I’m included in that.”
The Packers have moved back in the playoff hunt with their win streak. Green Bay needs to win its last two games and get a bit of help from Washington (7-7-1) or the New York Giants (8-6-1) to earn a fourth straight postseason appearance.
Rodgers has helped the Packers erase double-digit deficits in two of those three wins. Green Bay has been without left tackle David Bakhtiari for the last three games as he recovers from an appendectomy.
The Packers also played much of the Dolphins game without starting right tackle Yosh Nijman, who left with a shoulder injury.
Bakhtiari and Nijman were both limited practice participants Wednesday.
NOTES: WR Christian Watson (hip) and CB/KR Keisean Nixon (groin) didn’t practice Wednesday after injuries knocked both players out of the Dolphins game. RB Aaron Jones (knee/ankle) and OG Elgton Jenkins (knee) joined Bakhtiari and Nijman as limited practice participants.
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