Aaron Rodgers returns to Packers practice Thursday; Justin Fields a full participant in Chicago
GREEN BAY − Quarterback Aaron Rodgers returned to practice Thursday, joining his Green Bay Packers teammates to prepare for Sunday’s game with the Chicago Bears.
Rodgers, who has been nursing a broken thumb since Week 6, received a shot to the ribs in Sunday's loss against the Philadelphia Eagles. He didn't practice Wednesday, which was a jog-through, but was a limited participant in Thursday's padded practice.
During the portion of practice open to the media Thursday, Rodgers was making passes, turning the injured portion of the torso. While he didn't take any deep shots, he worked through short throws, intermediate throws and throws on the run outside the pocket.
Coach Matt LaFleur told media before practice that Rodgers would participate, but “As far as how much he’ll do, it’ll be limited.” Backup quarterback Jordan Love did share with media after practice that although Rodgers was a limited participant, Rodgers did take some first-team reps.
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Rookie receiver Romeo Doubs (ankle) was a limited participant for the second day in a row, his first week back at practice since injuring his ankle during the Week 9 loss to the Detroit Lions. Doubs shared with PackersNews after practice that he felt physically ready to possibly play Sunday, but the decision was still being weighed.
Linebacker De'Vondre Campbell was a limited participant; he is still working to play again after injuring his knee in the Week 8 loss to the Buffalo Bills. Offensive linemen Elgton Jenkins and David Bakhtiari both practiced Thursday after resting their knees Wednesday. Tight end Marcedes Lewis took his standard veteran rest day Thursday.
Safety Darnell Savage (foot) did not practice Thursday, his second day in a row of not participating. Savage injured his foot in Sunday's loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
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In Chicago, quarterback Justin Fields (shoulder) returned to practice as a full participant after being limited Wednesday. Receiver Chase Claypool (knee) did the same. Defensive backs Jaquan Brisker (concussion) and Kyler Gordon (concussion), receiver Dante Pettis (lines), quarterback Trevor Siemian (oblique) and offensive lineman Larry Borom (ankle/knee) were all non-participants.
Dean Lowry has contract restructured
The Packers decided they needed some more salary cap room at the end of this season and so they tapped into defensive lineman Dean Lowry’s contract to create it.
The Packers gained $1.14 million in salary cap space by converting a portion of his $4.9 million base salary into signing bonus and spreading the charge over three voidable years already on Lowry’s contract, according to a source with access to NFL salary information.
The source said the Packers are now $6.7 million under the salary cap, which is around the amount they like to have available during the season in case they want to sign a free agent or extend the contract of one of their players set to become a free agent next year.
In this case, the Packers might be considering a deal with offensive guard Elgton Jenkins, tight end Robert Tonyan, safety Adrian Amos or tackle Yosh Nijman.
Signing bonuses on new deals signed after Nov. 7 can use 2022 as an extra year of pro-ration, thus lowering the salary cap count in future years.
Whatever salary cap money the Packers have left over in ’22 can be carried over to ’23.