Packers' Rodgers 'feeling a lot better,' but held from practice

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Aaron Rodgers still has a right thumb injury, and now he has traded sore ribs for a banged-up left knee.

The Green Bay Packers held their quarterback out of practice on Wednesday after a couple of Miami Dolphins defenders landed on Rodgers in the second quarter of Sunday's game. Dolphins safety Eric Rowe sacked Rodgers, and then defensive tackle Christian Wilkins fell on top of him.

"I got a lot of body weight on my knee," Rodgers said Wednesday. "Had some extra flexion I haven't known for the last 20 years. So just been doing rehab the last few days and feeling a lot better."

Rodgers said he expected to practice this week, possibly on Thursday, in advance of Sunday's must-win game against the Minnesota Vikings. The Packers (7-8) would be eliminated from playoff contention if they lose combined with a win by either the Lions (over the Bears) or the Commanders (over the Browns). Even if they win their last two games, they'll need help in the form of either one loss by the Commanders or two losses by the Giants to get in.

The injury didn't seem to impact Rodgers during the remainder of the game against Miami. But he said fluid began to build on his knee during the flight home. The rib injury that Rodgers suffered last month against the Eagles was removed from his injury status on Wednesday.

While Rodgers has not missed a start this season, he has dealt with several injuries this season after playing with a broken toe the second half of last season and missing one game because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It's been much different than the 2020 season, when he said he did not miss a single practice.

"That was a nice year, but those are the outlier years," Rodgers said. "Usually this is how it goes. You're dealing with something throughout the year whether it's a major or minor, always got to do the body maintenance. But it's a good opportunity for [Jordan Love] to practice and get his reps in, and it's a good opportunity for me to get some rest."

Rodgers' most explosive receiver, Christian Watson, also did not practice on Wednesday because of the hip injury that knocked him out against the Dolphins. Left tackle David Bakhtiari returned to practice on a limited basis for the first time since his emergency appendectomy on Dec. 2.