"I think it's a lot about leadership," the Green Bay Packers quarterback said Wednesday. "If I want to be listened to and followed and looked up to, how could I stand here and say that these games that don't matter for playoffs, I'm going to cash it in? That's just not the way I lead, and I'm super-competitive, and I want to be out there with the guys and I look forward to being out there."
Rodgers said he was a full participant in practice on Wednesday despite a groin injury he suffered on the final play of the first half in Sunday's loss at Chicago that eliminated the Packers (5-8-1) from playoff contention. Rodgers also has been listed on the team's injury report all season after he suffered a knee injury in the season opener.
The Packers shut down Rodgers for the final two games last season after they were eliminated from postseason consideration, but that was after Rodgers returned from a seven-game absence following collarbone surgery.
Packers interim head coach Joe Philbin has indicated all week that if Rodgers is healthy, he will play Sunday.
"As I've said multiple times, [we] want everybody to practice, and if he's healthy enough to practice he'll be out there practicing," Philbin said Wednesday.
"I'm hopeful that he's going to practice. I'm hopeful that he's going to play. But certainly, yeah it's a little early to say exactly where everybody's at."
It's unclear whether Philbin and general manager Brian Gutekunst even considered shutting down Rodgers in order to protect him for next season.
"Brian and I, we always talk; we talked multiple times yesterday," Philbin said. "I'm sure we'll talk, we talk every single day and as it gets closer to the game, we're going to say these are the 46 guys that appear ... to give us the best chance of winning the football game. And [are] the healthiest players at this point in time. And certainly we discuss situationally how we anticipate using those 46 players. But again, it's a little premature until we get to that stage."
Rodgers said there's motivation to avoid becoming the first Packers team to go winless on the road since the 1958 season, but he couldn't say whether anything they did as an offense in the final two weeks would carry over into next season because of the uncertainty around the coaching staff.
"Well, it means something to us, for sure," Rodgers said. "As far as the grand scheme of things, I don't know because we don't know who's going to be coaching here, what the scheme is going to be. So we're just going to try and finish these two out for each other and for Joe, and then a lot of us will be out of here and we'll find out what the changes are when the changes are made and [we'll] look forward to the offseason."
The Packers have a variety of injury issues to work through this week. Despite reports that nose tackle Kenny Clark (elbow) would be placed on injured reserve, that has not happened yet. Clark was one of six players who did not practice Wednesday. Among the others were receiver Randall Cobb (concussion) and tight end Jimmy Graham (knee, thumb).
Right tackle Bryan Bulaga, who missed Sunday's game at Chicago with a knee injury, was back at practice Wednesday and said he felt "pretty good" about his chances of playing against the Jets.