GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Aaron Rodgers was back at Lambeau Field on Tuesday with two important jobs: rehab following surgery to repair his broken right collarbone and help Brett Hundley keep the Green Bay Packers in contention to make it worthwhile for the two-time NFL MVP to return.
Rodgers returned to Green Bay for the first time since he had surgery on Oct. 19. He was placed on injured reserve the following day, but the Packers hope he returns at some point after the mandatory eight weeks on IR.
Rodgers had the surgery in California and was not in Green Bay for the Packers' last game, a 26-17 loss to the Saints in Hundley's first start, but he's expected to remain in town throughout the course of his rehab.
"When he walks in the room, he has great presence, so it's great to have him back," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Tuesday. "I think really him stepping away and being out of town, I think, really helped him deal with his situation. But he's Aaron ... he feels good about the way things are going so far. I got a full, detailed look at everything with him and [team physician] Dr. McKenzie this morning. Yeah, it's great having him back in the building."
Hundley, as he said he would, spent his bye week in Green Bay. McCarthy said his new starting quarterback was around the team facility for most of the week, and the two held a lengthy meeting to review the Saints game. The coach and quarterback were able to spend more time together than they would during a normal game-planning week.
For Hundley, having the bye after his first start might have been perfect timing. The Packers also have an extra day this week to prepare for the "Monday Night Football" against the Detroit Lions. They held a bonus practice on Tuesday.
"I think it's valuable, catch his breath, have a little more time," McCarthy said. "Monday, we went through the tape after the Saints game. I felt really good about the way the meeting concluded.
"I think that's always beneficial when you can step away from the normal schedule and push the focus towards the individual, and he'll have an extra practice. We'll be able to do some situational work, he'll have an extra two-minute drill that he'll participate in. We'll be able to get into the whole normal down-and-distance run and pass game today, so he'll have a head start and have extra work going into the Monday night game."
That's where Rodgers comes in. He spent Tuesday in the meetings and at Hundley's side. It was the first chance since Hundley took over as the starter that he's had to work with Rodgers.
"He plays the game at a different level, a different pace," McCarthy said of Rodgers. "The biggest thing he can get to Brett is just to play a little faster. We're not going to try to win the volume game, that's for sure. That's something as a football team we need to do a better job of. We need to play faster, both offense and defense. So Aaron can assist in that.
"Just in the meeting today, there's always a suggestion or a moment you're watching the tape and going through the Lions defense, their two-minute drills for the year, spend more time on that with the extra time. He's played a number of games against those guys, so he understands the history of their defense. And history is good to point to when you have a little more extra time like we do today, but the fact of the matter is we've got to get dialed into it in game plan, and that process is the same for Aaron that it is for any quarterback. He'll definitely help Brett with that."