Packers QB Aaron Rodgers covering new ground in preseason, sits again

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- This is new ground for Aaron Rodgers, who won’t play in Thursday’s preseason game against the Oakland Raiders. For the first time in his career, the Green Bay Packers quarterback won’t see any preseason action until at least the penultimate summer exhibition.

The Packers listed Rodgers as a healthy scratch just like they did last week against the Cleveland Browns. Rodgers would have been in the same category had the Aug. 7 Hall of Fame Game not been canceled.

It means if Rodgers plays at all before Week 1, it likely will come next week against the San Francisco 49ers.

“I would expect extended time in the third game [at San Francisco],” Rodgers said, adding that he doesn’t expect to play much -- if at all -- in the preseason finale at Kansas City. "So it’s about conditioning at that point, and making sure you feel good by the time Week 1 rolls around.”

Rodgers hasn’t played in a preseason finale since 2012.

Last summer, Rodgers played in the first two preseason games but then sat the final two after Jordy Nelson blew out his knee in Pittsburgh on Aug. 23. Nelson, who was activated off the physically unable to perform list on Wednesday, will not play against the Raiders. But he would still have two weeks of training camp practices with Rodgers and the rest of the offense, even if he doesn’t play with his quarterback at all in the preseason.

Brett Hundley, who missed last Friday’s game against the Browns because of an ankle injury, is expected to start at quarterback.

Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers, who earlier on Thursday agreed to talk to the NFL about the league's performance-enhancing drug investigation, also were healthy scratches.

Others held out where: CB Warren Gatewood (shoulder), S Morgan Burnett (back), LB Jake Ryan (hamstring), C Jacob Flores (knee), DT Demetris Anderson (ankle), C Corey Linsley (hamstring), T Josh James (hamstring), G Matt Rotheram (biceps) and WR Jeff Janis (hand).