GREEN BAY, Wis. — Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy needs more information on the extent of Aaron Rodgers‘ knee injury to determine the quarterback’s availability for next week’s game against Minnesota.
Rodgers was sore when the team returned to Lambeau Field on Monday, McCarthy said. The Packers reviewed the thrilling 24-23 win on Sunday night over the Chicago Bears, in which Rodgers threw three touchdown passes in the fourth quarter after returning from an injury.
The Packers return to the practice field on Wednesday, when the first injury report for Week 2 is due.
"We do have some information and no decision has been made. We’re still collecting all the information," said McCarthy, who added he did not think it would take the whole week to determine Rodgers’ availability.
He did allow for a new morsel of information about the two-time NFL MVP. It was a short turnaround for everyone on the team after an emotional late-night victory.
"I don’t think anybody’s feeling great right now … But yeah (Rodgers) is sore. He’s walking around in a pair of shorts and tennis shoes and socks if that helps you with your story," McCarthy joked. "I mean I don’t know what else to tell you."
Rodgers left in the second quarter against the Bears on a cart after slipping to the turf during a sack and reaching back for the back of his left leg. Rodgers had ACL surgery on his left knee in college.
But he was cleared to return at halftime and came back out for the Packers’ first series of the third quarter.
Operating a no-huddle offence, but staying primarily in the pocket, Rodgers engineered a comeback from a 20-0 deficit early in the third quarter.
It was the first time in franchise history that the Packers won after trailing by 17 points or more entering the fourth quarter, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
"It was going to have to take something really catastrophic injury-wise to keep me off the field in the second half," Rodgers said after the game.
The Packers had to make a similar adjustment late in the 2014 season, when Rodgers was hobbled by a calf injury.
"But he seemed like he moved a little more than I remember back in ’14," left tackle David Bakhtiari said.
Rodgers said he would undergo more tests on Monday, but that he was planning to play next week against the Minnesota Vikings.
"No, I plan on playing. Yeah," he said.
Backup DeShone Kizer took over behind centre while Rodgers was being evaluated in the locker room in the second quarter. The second-year quarterback accounted for two turnovers to Khalil Mack , having been stripped of the ball by Mack on a sack, and throwing an interception returned 27 yards for a score by the star linebacker.
Kizer, who was acquired in the off-season in a trade with Cleveland, started 15 games last year for the winless Browns. It included a 33-16 loss to the Vikings on Oct. 29 in London. Kizer was 18 of 34 for 179 yards that day, while also rushing for 18 yards and a touchdown on five carries.
Kizer won the backup job in Green Bay after Brett Hundley was traded to the Seattle Seahawks after the preseason.
"You’ve got to prepare as if you’re the starter every week," Kizer said Monday.
Asked if he planned to get Kizer more work this week, McCarthy said "Well I mean DeShone will work, I don’t think there’s any question about that. He’ll work a lot this week. Like I said, we’re not that far."