GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers doesn’t hold back on the field, even when teammates around him limp off to the sideline.
The types of things that Rodgers can do might be limited, especially when two backup offensive tackles must help take on the task of protecting one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks.
But regardless of who’s healthy, Rodgers has a one-track mind.
“I don’t ever want to take a conservative approach,” Rodgers said Wednesday. “I don’t think (coach Mike McCarthy) does, either. It’s about being aggressive and scoring.”
Something that Green Bay was a little more successful at after halftime of last week’s 34-23 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. The Packers fell behind 31-7 before rallying somewhat against an Atlanta defense that played it safe for much of the second half.
Then again, it was a respectable effort given how injuries left Green Bay so short-handed. Health is an issue again this week as McCarthy’s team prepares for a visit from the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.
The Packers listed 13 players on the injury report to start the week. Standout lineman Mike Daniels (hip) and starting cornerback Davon House (quad) were among players on defense who left the Falcons game.
Pass rusher Nick Perry (hand) was a new addition to the injury report this week. All three players missed practice.
The injury report on offense read like a Pro Bowl roster, with receivers Jordy Nelson (quad) and Randall Cobb leaving the game.
Initially knocked out of the game with a shoulder injury, Cobb was listed on Wednesday with a chest injury. The Packers were already without left tackle David Bakhtiari (hamstring) and right tackle Bryan Bulaga (ankle).
“Hopefully it stays at 13 today,” McCarthy said about the lengthy injury report. “Those guys will all work in either the rehab group and hopefully move to limited or start in limited and hopefully move to full (participation).”
While Cobb and Bakhtiari sat out the short practice on Wednesday, the Packers got good news with Bulaga and Nelson returning as full participants. Nelson likened his injury to a charley horse.
Nelson and Cobb are seasoned veterans who have Rodgers’ trust, though a deep receiving group might be able to withstand being without the top two wideouts for a short period of time.
It’s a bit different on the line, where the Packers are thin on experienced backups at tackle.
“It was a positive start moving around, and not have too much restricted movement or anything like that,” Bulaga said. “So that was a positive, and wake up tomorrow, see how it feels. Have the trainers and doc look at it, and kind of move on from there.”
Kyle Murphy, a sixth-round draft pick in 2016, started on the left side. Undrafted free agent rookie Adam Pankey, who was called up from the practice squad, started at right tackle in his first NFL game.
Rodgers was under duress for much of the game against Atlanta, getting sacked three times. He took a few shots, and the Packers are lucky their franchise quarterback didn’t suffer a serious injury.
Considering the circumstances, it was a good night for Rodgers.
“He wasn’t worried about who was playing tackle. He was more focused on scoring points,” McCarthy said. “I think that’s a component of his greatness that I really appreciate. Sometimes I feel like I have to try to protect him from himself because he is so aggressive as a player.”
Notes: Linebacker Ahmad Brooks (concussion), who missed the Falcons game, returned to practice as a full participant. The Packers signed Brooks as a free agent after he was cut by San Francisco following the preseason to add depth to the pass rush. “I really wanted to come here and show what I was all about from the jump and that’s the very first game of the season,” Brooks said about being hurt for much of the first two weeks of the season. “I was upset that I couldn’t do that at that time.”
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