Packers head coach Mike McCarthy talks about Aaron Rodgers during his press conference inside the Media Auditorium at Lambeau Field on Friday, Jan. 2, 2015. Evan Siegle/Press-Gazette Media
Aaron Rodgers may have only one or two days of practice reps under his belt going into next week's divisional playoff game at Lambeau Field.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Friday that Rodgers likely won't practice until Thursday, as the quarterback continues to rehab the left calf muscle he first injured in Tampa Bay and then aggravated in Sunday's 30-20 win over the Detroit Lions.
Rodgers, receiver Jordy Nelson (personal reasons), linebacker Sam Barrington (illness) and cornerback Demetri Goodson (illness) were the only four players that didn't participate in Friday's practice, the first since the team's three-day break for the bye week.
When asked after practice, neither McCarthy nor Rodgers was concerned about his workload going into the team's first playoff game on Jan. 11, though.
"Aaron's doing well," McCarthy said. "Treatment during the practice period. We'll do the same (Saturday) and I really don't see him getting on the practice field until Thursday probably at the earliest."
McCarthy said the Packers will revert to their traditional schedule next week after they find out who they'll be hosting. That calls for Wednesday and Thursday practices with a rest day Friday before a final walk-through Saturday.
Rodgers said his rhythm and play style in the offense is established. The need for practice comes down to getting his checks down and gaining comfort with the game plan. Right now, the ability to take a step back during the bye week comes at a good time.
"It's going all right," said Rodgers of his rehab program. "The calf is slowly progressing. I wasn't out there today, but yeah, we're right where we need to be in getting ready to hopefully get on the field next week."
The Packers don't have to submit an injury report since there's no game this weekend. The team will hold a padded practice Saturday morning with Matt Flynn and Scott Tolzien handling the quarterback workload.
When Rodgers returns, his coach has no doubt the MVP quarterback will be able to catch up to speed.
"I'm not concerned," said McCarthy of Rodgers. "He's already started the preparation process. There's some things we went through today, self scout and correction that we want to go, so he'll be prepared. I think the biggest thing is for him to rep the things that he feels that he may need another rep on. There won't be a bunch of new ideas or things that he hasn't seen or things he doesn't have the reps with his teammates with. So I'm not really concerned."
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Pete Dougherty and Wes Hodkiewicz look at some of the issues facing the Packers as they get back to work in preparation for next week's divisional playoff game at Lambeau Field. (Jan. 2, 2015)