The Green Bay Packers are healthier now than they’ve been for much of the season.
While the team has its share of important players on injured reserve, including tackle David Bakhtiari, the injury report issued Tuesday was among the shortest of the year. There were a total of seven players on the list, and only one, defensive lineman Kingsley Keke (concussion), didn’t practice at all. The rest, which included outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith, tackle Rick Wagner and wide receiver Allen Lazard, all took part on a limited basis.
The news was not as glowing for their opponent in Saturday’s NFC Divisional Round game. Los Angeles only held a walk-through on Tuesday, but had they practiced fully, a number of key players wouldn’t have taken part. That included quarterback John Wolford, wide receiver Cooper Kupp, guard David Edwards and defensive tackle Aaron Donald.
While the status of Wolford, Edwards and Kupp is a little murky, the Rams fully expect Donald to play despite leaving their win over Seattle in the first half with a rib injury. For their part, the Packers are expecting the same.
“He’s a freak. He’s as good as they get. “Like I said, he’s a once in a lifetime type player,” coach Matt LaFleur said. “I assume he’ll be ready to go and full speed ahead.”
Quarterback Jared Goff did take part in the walk-through and would have been a full participant if the team had practiced. Goff, the Rams normal starting quarter, was the backup against the Seahawks because he was less than two weeks removed from thumb surgery. When Wolford went down early, Goff came in and helped lead the Rams to the victory.
Veldheer officially back
Just days after starting at left tackle for Indianapolis in its loss to Buffalo in the playoffs, Jared Veldheer was on the practice field in a Packers uniform getting ready for Saturday’s playoff game against the Rams. Despite starting the last two games, the Colts never actually elevated him to their active roster, allowing Green Bay to swoop in and sign him off the practice squad.
Vehldeer was with the Packers at the end of last season, playing an important role in Week 17 against Detroit and then starting at right tackle against Seattle in the playoffs. He figures to be an insurance policy for Green Bay at either tackle spot behind Billy Turner on the left side and Wagner on the right.
“I think we’ve got to kind of just wait and see just how much recall he has from last year,” LaFleur said. “What’s interesting is he just played in a game this weekend with a totally different offense, so we’ll try to get him acclimated and welcome him back as quickly as possible. As far as what the expectations are, I think that remains to be seen.”
If he does play, Veldheer will be the first player in NFL history to see action with two teams in the playoffs in the same season.
Rodgers hosting Jeopardy!
It got out sooner than the Jeopardy! folks apparently wanted, but quarterback Aaron Rodgers will be guest hosting the show at some point during the offseason. Rodgers revealed that information during his normal Tuesday appearance on the Pat McAfee Show.
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) January 12, 2021
During his availability with reporters later in the day, Rodgers apologized to those that run the show for breaking the news, saying he was just too excited not to share it.
Rodgers was a contestant on “Celebrity Jeopardy!” in 2015, and ended up winning his episode by beating astronaut Mark Kelly and Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary. Longtime host Alex Trebek passed away in November.