Packers, Rodgers return to field for mandatory minicamp

Rodgers Unsure How Long He Will Play Beyond This Season
Morry Gash - staff, AP

Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers watches Jordan Love at the NFL football team's practice field Tuesday, June 7, 2022, in Green Bay, Wis.

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Less than a week after sinking a putt to win “the Match,” Aaron Rodgers returned to the field hoping his winning form will carry over to the gridiron.

The Packers held an open practice Tuesday, part of the team’s mandatory minicamp. Head Coach Matt LaFleur said the team would focus mostly on jog-throughs and 7-on-7 drills Tuesday. For rookies like wide receiver Christian Watson, that meant a first chance to catch passes from the reigning NFL MVP.

“It’s their first opportunity to be on the field with him,” LaFleur said. “They get to learn how he operates, and the expectations we have of all of those guys out there.”

LaFleur said this week’s camp is important to build team chemistry heading into the season. Rodgers skipped last year’s minicamp as he negotiated a new contract.

“The more the guys can get around each other, the more they can learn each other,” LaFleur said. “I’m excited we’ve got (Rodgers) in the building with these young guys.”

The return of Rodgers means 2020 first-round pick Jordan Love will remain a backup. Despite Love entering his third year in the NFL, LaFleur did not seem to be worried about the former Utah State star’s mindset.

“I don’t think you’ll see much of a difference,” LaFleur said. “I think Jordan’s gonna handle it the same way would if Aaron wasn’t here.”

Minicamp also gives the Packers’ coaching staff a chance to grow. Green Bay made numerous changes on the sidelines during the offseason, including replacing special teams coach Maurice Drayton with Rich Bisaccia. Adam Stenavich was also promoted to offensive coordinator after Nathan Hackett left to be head coach of the Denver Broncos.

“A lot of us have known each other and have been around each other so that makes it a little bit of a smoother transition,” LaFleur said. “There’s been a learning curve along the way, and I’ve gotten more involved.”

The team is looking to stay healthy, and begin the process toward a new season on the right step.

“It’s more or less to lay that foundation for them so that when we get to training camp, we can hit the ground running,” LaFleur said.

The Packers have another open minicamp session on Wednesday and will wrap up with a closed session on Thursday. The team will hold another set of Organized Team Activities next week.

Green Bay’s preseason starts in San Francisco on August 12. The regular season begins on September 11 in Minnesota when the Packers take on the Vikings