GREEN BAY – Coach Mike McCarthy said Wednesday he wasn’t aware of a date being set for Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ surgery, and no roster move would be made until after the operation.
“Our focus clearly is just to get through the surgery,” McCarthy said, “and just see where he is. I'm not personally looking in that direction. My focus is on Aaron's health right now."
Rodgers has been in touch with teammates since fracturing his right collarbone Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings. Quarterback Brett Hundley said Rodgers continues to send him helpful suggestions as he transitions to the starting job. Receiver Jordy Nelson said he spoke with Rodgers each of the previous two days.
Nelson was asked how Rodgers is dealing with the reality he’ll likely miss the rest of the season.
“Actually, I think pretty good for the situation,” said Nelson, who missed the entire 2015 season with a torn ACL. “Obviously, what I experienced two years ago, I kind of understand what he’s going through. I think he kind of reacted similar to it. You’re a little upset to begin with, and then as you are — I mean, of everything that hits you — and then obviously still dealing with the pain and the injury. So I think whatever his schedule is, and when he’s getting things done, I think that will be another big step.
“Then you kind of get over the hump and see the light at the end of the tunnel type thing, but I talked to him on Monday and Tuesday, so I was actually happy with the way he’s handling everything. Because it can wear on us too when you see someone down or something like that. So I think it’s big that he keeps a smile on his face, even if it’s fake.”
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Line drills: Left tackle David Bakhtiari returned to the starting lineup Sunday against the Vikings some 35 days after injuring his hamstring in the season opener Sept. 10. He lasted 34 snaps before ultimately dropping out in the second half.
As it turns out, he was still ahead of schedule.
Bakhtiari said Wednesday that he and the training staff exceeded their original timetable drawn up in the aftermath of the injury. He returned early, played for a few series and exited the game before doing additional damage.
“First off I want to just credit them, them and the doctors, for what our timetable was set and be able to beat that and get me out there,” Bakhtiari said. “We had a game plan going in of, you know, trying to get how many series we can get and see how it feels. And we were able to beat that and I was happy for that. Again, going through the same thing and still testing it out. Going into this week and taking it day by day.”
The Packers began Sunday’s game with their starting offensive line intact for the first time all season. By the final buzzer, 60 percent of their starters were watching from the sidelines.
In addition to Bakhtiari, who was a limited participant in Wednesday’s practice, the Packers also lost right tackle Bryan Bulaga (concussion) and left guard Lane Taylor (ankle/knee). Bulaga joined Bakhtiari as a limited participant Wednesday while Taylor, who was rolled up on by quarterback Brett Hundley, did not practice.
Once again, the Packers are maneuvering another week of practice with little assurance about which linemen will be protecting Hundley on Sunday.
“The one thing we can say for certain is that definitely the injury bug is here,” Bakhtiari said. “Particularly in the offensive line room.
Injury report: Safety Morgan Burnett (hamstring) did not practice again Wednesday after missing the game against the Vikings and failing to practice all of last week. His status for Sunday remains in jeopardy.
ILB Joe Thomas (ankle) also did not participate in practice. Thomas has not practiced since injuring his ankle against the Chicago Bears.
OLB Ahmad Brooks (back), DT Quinten Dial (chest), CB Davon House (quadriceps), OLB Nick Perry (hand/knee), CB Lenzy Pipkins (concussion) and CB Damarious Randall (hamstring) were limited participants.
CB Kevin King cleared the concussion protocol and was able to practice in full. King said it was the first concussion of his football career.
“It’s good,” King said. “It’s kind of hard being a person who has to go through it because of course you want to go out there and you might feel like you’re all right and everything. But in the bigger picture of things, having those guys who really look out for you the way they do and are really adamant about not letting you get onto that field unless you’re healthy, they’re just looking out for the well-being of us and for the players. I appreciate that and I respect that.”
RB Ty Montgomery (ribs) was also a full participant in practice.