Is Matt LaFleur mishandling Aaron Rodgers’ injury?

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is back at practice after three weeks, raising questions about how head coach Matt LaFleur is handling Rodgers.

Aaron Rodgers walked onto the practice field today for the first time in three weeks. It’s a promising development for Rodgers, who hasn’t practiced for the past three weeks due to a fractured toe.

Rodgers has played in NFL games since Week 10, even though his toe hasn’t fully healed. His return to practice signifies a development in the healing process, although his toe seems to be far from fully healed. Broken toes typically take six weeks to heal, and although it’s unclear when or how Rodgers sustained his toe injury, Rodgers played without the injury designation on Oct. 28.

Seeing as he jokingly referred to the injury as a “COVID injury”, it seems he injured his toe at some point in early November.

Matt LaFleur allows Aaron Rodgers to return to the practice field

If Rodgers did injure his toe in early November, then Dec. 12 is close to the six-week mark. Still, there has been great uncertainty surrounding his status as the Packers came back from their bye week.

It’s been an eventful return for Rodgers, who began the week with rumors around whether or not he would be getting surgery on his toe.

On Wednesday, the Rodgers situation was taken “day by day” as Kurt Benkert took all of the practice reps.

By Friday, Rodgers was a limited participant at practice, with LaFleur saying he took “as many reps as he could.”

“I thought he did a really nice job,” LaFleur said after practice. “It was good to have him back out there.”

While LaFleur didn’t push Rodgers to practice beyond his abilities, an early return or additional pressure to his toe could re-aggravate his injury, which apparently happened in Week 11 versus the Vikings. It’s a calculated risk the Packers are willing to take: without David Bakhtiari and Randall Cobb, the Packers are in dire need of their most valuable player.

As of Friday, Rodgers is expected to play Sunday versus the Chicago Bears, which could spell trouble for Rodgers — and LaFleur — if Rodgers returns to increased action too early.

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