Aaron Rodgers threw four touchdown passes and looked unhindered moving around the field in Week 11’s loss against the Minnesota Vikings, but the veteran Green Bay Packers quarterback admitted in the postgame that it had been “very, very painful” for him to play through his lingering toe injury.
Rodgers has been dealing with a toe issue since returning from the reserve/COVID-19 list on November 13, and while it has not yet caused him to miss any playing time for the Packers, it has forced the 37-year-old to miss every practice since aside from his limited participation in last Friday’s walkthrough for the game against the Vikings.
Rodgers also said his toe got stepped up during their 34-31 loss to the Vikings and that it had left him “in a lot of pain,” even prompting him to leave the sideline before the end of the first half and wait in the tunnel while Jordan Love handled the final kneeldown so that he could get his toe re-evaluated during halftime.
“I’ve had turf toe (and) it’s a little worse than turf toe,” Rodgers said after the game on November 21. “I’m just going to have to get to the bye and hope I can get some healing over the bye week. Probably the same schedule (for me in practice) next week. (I) was in a lot of pain, went into halftime early to get it checked out, but yeah, I mean, it’s very, very painful. Got stepped on early in the first half and that kind of activated all the symptoms I was having. So it’s going to be another painful week next week and then hopefully start to feel a little better in the bye.”
The latest Packers news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Packers newsletter here!
Rodgers Nearing a Month Since Last Full Practice
Rodgers has not practiced for the Packers since before their Thursday Night Football showdown with the Arizona Cardinals on October 28. The team was given a long weekend of rest after that Week 8 win and then Rodgers tested positive for COVID-19, causing him to spend the next 10 days in isolation before getting activated one day prior to their Week 9 matchup with the Seattle Seahawks.
If the toe injury keeps Rodgers to the same limited practice schedule in Week 12, as he expects, the Packers will be more than a month removed from their last full practice with their starting quarterback heading into their bye week. That might not seem like a big deal to a three-time MVP quarterback in his 14th season as a starter, but it could have an impact on some of the other players in the system who are still looking to strengthen their connection with Rodgers.
Rodgers Hopes Jenkins’ Injury ‘Isn’t So Bad’
While Rodgers was playing through the pain, he also saw one of his top protectors — left tackle Elgton Jenkins — exit the game with what appeared to be a significant injury. Jenkins hurt his knee and had to be carted into the locker room early in the fourth quarter and did not return for the rest of the afternoon. The fear, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, is that Jenkins tore his ACL and could miss the rest of the year.
“Man, he’s been so versatile for us,” Rodgers said when asked about the possibility of losing Jenkins. “He can play every position on the line. I think he’s played at least four of them, so definitely hate to see that happen. Not sure what his official status is coming out of the game, but with Dave (Bakhtiari’s) status unknown, we’re going to have to rely on probably Yosh. He’s played some good football for us, proud of the way he stepped in, but hopefully, the news isn’t so bad with Elgton.”