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Packers coach Matt LaFleur hoping Aaron Rodgers can get some preseason reps

Jim Owczarski
Packers News

GREEN BAY - Two days after Aaron Rodgers first experienced tightness in his back — which kept the Green Bay Packers quarterback from playing as scheduled Thursday night in Baltimore — Packers head coach Matt LaFleur said the expectation is for Rodgers to practice Sunday.

“That’s the plan, but you know, a lot of it is going to be predicated on how he feels,” LaFleur said Friday at Lambeau Field. “I think he feels better, but we’ll see Sunday.”

LaFleur — who is also the play caller — said having Rodgers get some reps with the first unit does have benefits, even if he allowed Thursday night that it wasn’t a necessity.

"I just think those guys all going out together prior to the Chicago game just to work the kinks out, if there are any, but just to try and get into a flow of the game,” LaFleur said. “Having him hear the play calls when he's actually the guy out there, get in and out of the huddle. I thought he's definitely helped stress that urgency to the other 10 in the huddle and I thought last week was better. It's more or less just getting into that flow."

Aug 15, 2019; Baltimore, MD, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) stands on the sidelines during the first quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Packers described Rodgers’ scratch from what was to be his preseason debut against the Ravens as purely precautionary, but the club has one more preseason road trip head. The Packers travel to Winnipeg, Manitoba in Canada to take on the Oakland Raiders on Thursday at IG Field. Home to the Canadian Football League’s Blue Bombers, the stadium opened in 2013 and has a FieldTurf Revolution playing surface rather than natural grass.

Packers head of football logistics/team travel Matt Klein will head to the stadium in advance of the game to make sure everything about the facility is up to speed.

“We’ll evaluate the surface obviously before we play the game,” LaFleur said. “Matt Klein’s going up there a couple of days early, so he’ll be able to evaluate it as well. It seems like it’s a relatively new stadium. It looks pretty nice, but I guess until we get there, we won’t know.”

More missed tackles might change emphasis

A week after counting 24 missed tackles against Houston, LaFleur said the club missed 19 against the Ravens — which will likely lead to a greater emphasis on technique during practice.

“We really have to concentrate and have a more concerted effort on thudding up and trying to stop the runner’s feet,” he said. “Because I still don’t believe in taking to the ground. The risk-reward is not worth it to me and I think that’s true with a lot of coaches throughout the league.”