In recent years the Packers have limited Aaron Rodgers reps in the preseason. A day after the two-time MVP hinted at his 2018 debut, head coach Mike McCarthy for the most part confirmed that is the goal for the week.
“The goal is to play Aaron on Thursday. We got to see. It’s the coordination of who you play with us as part of that decision but definitely that’s the goal for him to play and from that you look at the other reps. But you like to Play all four quarterbacks, that would be the intent going into the game but we’ll see how it sorts out,” said Mike McCarthy.
Who will protect Rodgers is likely a big key when it comes to his playing time. Last week against the Titans Kyle Murphy and Byron Bell got the start at the tackle spots, not David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga. The Packers starting tackles both sat out as they come back from injuries. Bakhtiari returned to practice this week after being carted back to the locker room with an ankle sprain on Family Night.
“Really were Aaron is, it’s more about the coordination of who he’s playing with, what we’re trying to accomplish in that period of time. Obviously at the forefront of your decisions is obviously being smart with Aaron, but it’s the combination of who he plays with too is part of that. So there’s a lot of things you talk about that’s why you kind of wait until you get all the information to make those Final decisions on play time,” said McCarthy.
Playing on familiar territory could be big for Rodgers though. Last season took all of his preseason reps on the road, both in Washington and Denver, and has not been on the field at Lambeau since September of last season.
“I think I’ll probably play this week. Obviously when I came back from my injury, I was on the road so I haven’t played at home for a long time,” said Aaron Rodgers.
“It’s just trying to get the timing down with the guys and the speed is obviously a little faster. I think there’s still things to be gained even as a veteran player in the preseason.”