Packers have no concerns about Rodgers
The Green Bay Packers limited Aaron Rodgers' workload in practice this week, but are expecting their quarterback to be fully functional in Sunday's NFC North showdown with the Detroit Lions.
Rodgers is probable to play through with the left calf strain he sustained in last weekend's 20-3 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He split his time Tuesday and Wednesday between practice and rehab, and was estimated as a limited participant Thursday and Friday.
Although the team didn't practice on Friday, Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Rodgers was able to perform his usual Friday routine in the classroom and in the walk-through period.
Rodgers didn't miss any time after straining his hamstring in New Orleans on Oct. 26, but had a bye week to recover. Still, McCarthy said he doesn't have any reservations about what Rodgers will be able to do against the Lions.
"I don't have any concerns today, just based off of the conversation with Aaron and how he's feeling," McCarthy said. "You get out there … really (Saturday) will be a big indicator, just to watch him move around and do the different things. And then we'll communicate during the game. But I don't have a very high concern right now."
Rodgers' ability to extend plays with his feet is one of his most deadly attributes for an opposing defense to contain. The Packers will get a chance to see where he's at Saturday in their final practice of the week, the final preparation for one of the toughest defensive fronts they will see all season.
The Lions' defense won a unanimous decision during the teams' first meeting in September. The Packers' offense scored once on nine possessions. Rodgers, who threw for only 162 yards, was sacked twice and didn't scramble for positive yardage once.
Last week was the first time since Nov. 9 Rodgers didn't have a carry, but proved he could still be efficient in completing 31 of 40 passes for 318 yards and a touchdown.
The Packers feel like they're a different team across the board with an offense that's clicking at all levels, a notion reflected in its jump from 28th to sixth since the 19-7 loss at Ford Field three months ago.
"Obviously I think our offense has been executing at a higher level than we did when we played them the first time," receiver Randall Cobb said. "We found our identity. We've been able to have success throughout the season. It's just totally, not different teams, but we know who we are and we know what we're capable of."
-- firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @WesHod