But coach Matt LaFleur continued to paint it as a precautionary measure and maintained things likely would be different if this were the regular season.
“Yeah, I’m pretty sure that would be the case,” LaFleur said Sunday. “I think even the other night … but with it being the preseason, it wasn’t worth it.”
The first indication of Rodgers’ back tightness was revealed last Thursday, when the Packers made him a last-minute scratch before preseason game No. 2 at Baltimore — a game Rodgers was expected to start. Then, LaFleur said Friday that he was hopeful Rodgers would practice when the team returned to the field on Sunday.
Instead, Rodgers was nowhere to be seen on the field, and DeShone Kizer led the offense through a ragged day of practice. LaFleur said it would be a “day-by-day” decision as to when Rodgers will return.
“We just held him out precautionary today,” LaFleur said.
When asked whether he’s concerned that Rodgers’ back tightness could be a recurring issue, LaFleur said: “Knock on wood, I hope it’s not.”
Rodgers has not spoken to reporters since last week, but he said early in training camp that he expected to play in the second and third exhibition games. Rodgers did not play in the preseason opener against the Texans and hasn’t played in a preseason finale since 2012. The Packers play the Raiders on Thursday, but the game is in Winnipeg, Canada on an unfamiliar surface.
If Rodgers doesn’t play there, whether it’s because of his back or that the Packers don’t want to play him on a FieldTurf surface, might LaFleur consider playing Rodgers in the Aug. 29 preseason finale just to get him some work in before the regular-season opener against the Bears on Sept. 5?
“Yeah, that’s something maybe we’d consider, but with the way our opener falls on Thursday, I don’t know,” LaFleur said. “I mean, I’d have to put more thought into that. right now, I’m just kind of taking it day by day to see where we’re at.”
Last summer, Rodgers played only one series — all of seven total snaps — in the preseason.
But with a new coach and a new offense, the plan had been to play Rodgers more.
“I think that he’s gotten a lot of great work in,” LaFleur said. “You’d like to get him some game action, but, again, he’s a veteran guy who’s played a lot of football. I mean, 14 years in the league, there’s not much that he hasn’t seen. So it’s not overly concerning to me.”