Aaron Rodgers plans to play with a left knee injury for the third consecutive game on Sunday, and the Green Bay Packers’ perennial MVP candidate is worried his condition will get worse before it improves.
“Obviously that’s a concern,” Rodgers said Wednesday. “Hopefully it goes the other way.”
Rodgers did not practice last week until a light workout Saturday before playing Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings. He was hurt in the first half of the season opener against the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field. It’s unlikely Rodgers will practice much this week, if at all, but he does plan to be on the field Sunday when the Packers (1-0-1) visit the Redskins (1-1).
“Obviously, I’d love to be better than I was last week as far as health-wise, but there’s some factors that are out of my control,” Rodgers said.
—Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook did not practice, calling himself day-to-day as he recovers from a hamstring injury sustained last Sunday against the Packers.
Cook departed in the fourth quarter of the 29-29 tie, but after the game, he downplayed his removal and attributed it to cramps.
After sitting out practice Wednesday, Cook confirmed his hamstring issue to the St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press and said, “I’m just taking it day by day. I’ll see how I feel at the end of the week, but it’s going to be day by day.’”
—Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins was a limited participant in practice due to ankle and thumb ailments, according to the team’s injury report. The Texans (0-2) host the New York Giants (0-2) on Sunday.
Hopkins, who also dealt with the issue last week, leads the Texans with 14 catches for 188 yards and one touchdown through two games.
Fellow receivers Keke Coutee and Will Fuller V were also limited in practice because of hamstring issues, as was linebacker Jadeveon Clowney (back), who missed Sunday’s loss to Tennessee. Defensive end J.J. Watt (knee) and safety Kareem Jackson (ankle) were listed on Houston’s initial injury report, but both participated in practice.
—Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown was back at practice on Wednesday, two days after skipping team meetings.
Brown was a no-show in Pittsburgh on Monday when the team gathered in the aftermath of a 42-37 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Coach Mike Tomlin, who confirmed the absence, said Wednesday that Brown was disciplined. Even so, the wideout is heavily involved in the Steelers’ Week 3 game plan.
Defensive end Cam Heyward, one of four team captains, said he also met with Brown but declined to divulge any additions from their chat. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said he spoke to Brown and wasn’t worried, adding that the wide receiver didn’t address teammates.
—Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz had hoped to return from his left ACL injury to start the season. Even though he is a few weeks behind schedule, he told reporters Wednesday he is thrilled to have all the doubts behind him as he prepares to start on Sunday.
Wentz, 25, said he is confident that his knee has healed sufficiently for him to play effectively. He will wear a brace during games.
“I feel comfortable with it,” he said. “We’ll see after this season how I feel with it, but I feel good with it right now. It’s definitely something the doctors recommend and so I’ve gotten used to it by now and I feel really comfortable with it.”
—Quarterback Case Keenum sat out the Denver Broncos’ practice with a sore knee, according to KUSA-TV.
Backup Chad Kelly, selected by the Broncos with the final pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, ran the first-team offense in Keenum’s absence. The TV station reported that Denver expects Keenum, 30, to return to practice on Thursday.
The Broncos signed Keenum to a two-year, $36 million contract in March. So far this season, he has thrown for 551 yards with three touchdown passes and four interceptions. He also has a rushing touchdown.
—Shortly before Josh Gordon took the practice field with the Patriots for the first time, New England coach Bill Belichick was still insisting the trade for the wide receiver had not yet been finalized. Gordon suited up wearing No. 10.
During his media availability, Belichick refused to address the newest weapon for the Patriots.
“I’m not going to talk about players that are not actually, I would say, on our roster totally,” Belichick said, per NFL.com. “When that happens, that happens. If it happens.
“There are terms that have to be met before the trade is finalized. And when those are completed, then we’ll have a completed trade. Until they are completed, I’m not going to get into it.”
—The Cincinnati Bengals signed former Seattle Seahawks running back Thomas Rawls to shore up their backfield depth with Joe Mixon expected to miss time. Rawls had joined the New York Jets in the off season but failed to make the 53-man roster. Running back Tra Carson was waived to make room for Rawls.
Mixon, one of the heroes of Cincinnati’s hard-fought victory over AFC North rival Baltimore on Thursday night, had minor knee surgery on Saturday that is expected to keep him out for approximately two weeks. He was in and out of the game because of the right knee injury. Originally hurt in the first half, he finished with 84 rushing yards on 21 carries and was noticeably limping afterward.
Giovani Bernard is expected to take over starting duties with Mixon out.
—Field Level Media