Interim head coach Joe Philbin of the Green Bay Packers said he plans to start only players who are healthy against the New York Jets on Sunday and wouldn’t say if quarterback Aaron Rodgers is in that group.
Rodgers, who has been nicked up much of the season, sustained a groin injury in last week’s loss to the Chicago Bears, saying it bothered him “a little bit” in the second half.
“I’m hopeful he’s going to practice, and I’m hopeful he’s going to play,” Philbin said, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN, who added that Rodgers was on the field for the open portion on practice on Wednesday and took the initial reps with the first-team offense.
Ryan Wood of the Green Bay Press-Gazette said that Philbin told reporters that Rodgers would be evaluated all week before the team makes a decision about whether its franchise quarterback would play.
Rodgers is planning to play.
“I’d like to be out there and lead us the last two weeks,” Rodgers said. “I want to play. I expect to start and play. … Yes — It’s about leadership, how can I stand here and say these games don’t matter. That’s not the way I lead. I’m super competitive.”
There has been some speculation in the media that since the Packers (5-8-1) have been eliminated from playoff contention, they might shut Rodgers down for the last two games of the season if he is not 100 percent healthy.