Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12), offensive tackle David Bakhtiari (69)  and head coach Matt LeFleur against the New York Jets during their preseason football game on Saturday, August 21, 2021, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. Wm. Glasheen USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

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Packers expect LT David Bakhtiari to be ready for camp

Left tackle David Bakhtiari missed all but 27 snaps last season following ACL surgery in 2020, but the Green Bay Packers anticipate his return for training camp in July.

Head coach Matt LaFleur said the Packers are preparing for Bakhtiari to be back on the blindside of quarterback Aaron Rodgers. To make sure of it, the 30-year-old will be rested during most of the offseason, including the second OTA session this week in Green Bay.

“Our plan all along was to hold him from this time of the year and make sure he’s continuing to get stronger and ready to go hopefully for training camp,” LaFleur said Tuesday. “This is part of our process right now.”

A five-time Pro Bowl selection, Bakhtiari continues on the road back from an ACL tear on Dec. 31, 2020. He was able to suit up for the final regular-season game last season but has experienced numerous setbacks and required a procedure to reduce swelling and drain fluid from around the knee.

LaFleur said the approach is cautious, but not one that should indicate concern Bakhtiari might experience another injury.

“We just thought, yeah, this is a guy that has played a lot of ball, and it’s best to, you know, hold him from this portion of it,” LaFleur said.

–Field Level Media

Jan 9, 2022; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) walks onto the field with a smile before the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Aaron Rodgers to give Packers his decision ‘soon’

Multiple teams have trade offers on the table for Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, ESPN reported Thursday.

The report says Rodgers will be informing the Packers “soon” of his decision, presumably about whether to retire, remain with the team or seek an opportunity elsewhere.

Rodgers sent Green Bay and the NFL-watching world into a tizzy with an Instagram post Monday in which he heaped gratitude on teammates and coaches and spoke partially in the past tense. But Rodgers said Tuesday in an interview with Pat McAfee that he had no final answers on his future yet.

Rodgers, 38, won his fourth MVP award in 2021, passing for 4,115 passing yards with 37 touchdowns and four interceptions in 16 starts.

However, the top-seeded Packers (13-4) lost their playoff opener at home to the San Francisco 49ers, kicking off another offseason of speculation about Rodgers’ future with the franchise.

–Field Level Media

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) following the Packers' victory over the Chicago Bears during their football game on Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis.

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Aaron Rodgers expresses thanks, gratitude in cryptic post

Aaron Rodgers provided potential clues about his future plans in a lengthy social media post Monday night.

The Green Bay quarterback expressed his “Monday Night Gratitude” to his ex-fiancee, actress Shailene Woodley, and his “past and current” Packers teammates on Instagram.

Rodgers, 38, and Woodley reportedly broke off their engagement last week, and there is speculation the four-time NFL MVP could break up with the Packers, too, after 17 seasons together.

In his post, Rodgers specifically thanked fellow Green Bay quarterbacks Jordan Love and Kurt Benkert, Packers head coach Matt LaFleur, former offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, former quarterbacks coach Luke Getsy, wide receiver Randall Cobb and offensive tackle David Bakhtiari.

“To my teammates, past and current, you are the icing on the beautiful cake we call our job; football,” Rodgers wrote, in part. “The friendships that we have will transcend our collective time in this game and I am so thankful for the role that each of you have played in making my life that much better. I love you guys, and cherish the memories we’ve made.”

Rodgers won his fourth MVP award in 2021, passing for 4,115 passing yards, 37 touchdowns and four interceptions in 16 starts.

However, the top-seeded Packers (13-4) lost their playoff opener at home to the San Francisco 49ers, kicking off another offseason of speculation about Rodgers’ future with the franchise.

Appearing on the “Pat McAfee Show” after the divisional playoff loss, Rodgers said “everything is definitely on the table,” including retirement, relocation or a return to Green Bay.

–Field Level Media

Dec 5, 2021; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders interim coach Rich Bisaccia reacts against the Washington Football Team in the first half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Packers hiring Rich Bisaccia to lead special teams

The Green Bay Packers plan to hire Rich Bisaccia as their special teams coordinator, NFL Network reported Monday.

Bisaccia, 61, went 7-5 as the interim head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders this season after replacing Jon Gruden.

Bisaccia was a popular candidate among Raiders players for the permanent head coaching position in Las Vegas, but the job went to Josh McDaniels.

Bisaccia became the assistant head coach and special teams coordinator with the Raiders in 2018 after serving in similar capacities with the Dallas Cowboys (2013-17), San Diego Chargers (2011-12) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2002-10).

Green Bay parted ways with special teams coach Maurice Drayton following a disastrous playoff performance.

The Packers ranked near the bottom of the league in various special teams rankings for the 2021 season. Those issues were front and center in their 13-10 loss to San Francisco in the NFC divisional playoff game on Jan. 22.

The Niners scored their only touchdown of the game with 4:41 left in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 10 when they blocked a punt at Green Bay’s 12-yard line. The Packers also had a field goal attempt blocked right before halftime that would have given them a 10-0 lead. The Packers became the first team in 33 years to have a field goal and punt blocked in the same playoff game.

Further, the Packers only had 10 players on the field for San Francisco’s game winning field goal as time expired.

–Field Level Media

Jan 9, 2022; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) runs with the ball against the Detroit Lions during the first half at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

Lions score late, hold off Packers 37-30

D’Andre Swift scored the go-ahead touchdown with 1:54 remaining on a 14-yard run and the host Detroit Lions defeated the Green Bay Packers 37-30 on Sunday.

Jared Goff passed for 238 yards and two touchdowns, while Amon-Ra St. Brown caught eight passes for 109 yards and a touchdown. The Lions finished the season at 3-13-1.

Aaron Rodgers passed for 138 yards and two touchdowns while playing only the first half for the Packers (13-4), who had already wrapped up the top seed in the NFC playoffs. Allen Lazard caught five passes for 75 yards and two touchdowns.

Detroit led 17-13 at halftime.

Green Bay opened the game with a 13-play, 74-yard drive. The Packers scored on 3rd-and-goal as Rodgers found Lazard from 1 yard out.

Detroit used a trick play to knot the score. Goff handed the ball off to St. Brown, who pitched it to tight end Tom Kennedy. Kalif Raymond was wide open along the right sideline on the 75-yard play.

St. Brown caught a 2-yard touchdown pass from Goff to give the Lions a 14-7 lead.

Rodgers’ second scoring pass to Lazard covering 29 yards cut Detroit’s lead to one but Mason Crosby missed the extra point.

Riley Patterson kicked a 34-yard field goal with two seconds left in the half.

The Lions extended their lead to 11 points on Goff’s 36-yard pass to Brock Wright.

Crosby made a 36-yard field goal midway through the quarter, and Patrick Taylor scored his first NFL touchdown from one yard out to make it 24-22 in the fourth quarter. The two-point conversion attempt failed.

Patterson hit a 36-yard field goal with 6:39 left to give Detroit a five-point advantage.

The Packers answered with Jordan Love’s 62-yard hookup to Josiah Deguara, who caught a short toss and charged up the middle for the score. Love ran for the two-point conversion to give Green Bay a three-point edge at 30-27 with 4:49 left.

Swift’s score capped off a six-play, 75-yard drive. Patterson drilled a 27-yard field in the final minute after Love was intercepted by C.J. Moore.

Love was intercepted again, this time by Tracy Walker, on Green Bay’s final possession.

–Field Level Media

Jan 9, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Andy Dalton (14) passes against the Minnesota Vikings in the first quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Three TDs in fourth quarter get Vikings past Bears

Kirk Cousins completed 14 of 22 passes for 250 yards and three touchdowns, and the Minnesota Vikings rallied for a 31-17 win over the Chicago Bears on Sunday afternoon in Minneapolis.

Justin Jefferson, K.J. Osborn and Patrick Peterson each scored fourth-quarter touchdowns as the Vikings finished the game with 21 unanswered points. Ihmir Smith-Marsette also had a touchdown reception for Minnesota (8-9).

Andy Dalton completed 33 of 48 passes for 325 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions for Chicago (6-11). Darnell Mooney had 12 catches for 126 yards, and Damien Williams caught a touchdown pass.

The Vikings pulled even at 17-17 with 13:35 to go in the fourth quarter. Jefferson got behind Bears safety Eddie Jackson, and Cousins found him for a 45-yard touchdown.

Minnesota scored the go-ahead touchdown with 8:04 remaining. Cousins had time in the pocket and fired a strike to Osborn in the back left corner of the end zone for a 21-yard score.

On the Bears’ next possession, the Vikings’ defense stepped up. Peterson scored on a 66-yard interception return to make it 31-17 with 5:10 left. It was his first pick-six since Nov. 9, 2014, with the Arizona Cardinals.

Chicago started the scoring on its opening drive. Cairo Santos made a 43-yard field goal with 12:13 to go in the first quarter.

Santos connected again, this time from 46 yards, to make it 6-0 with five minutes left in the second quarter.

The Bears increased their lead to 14-0 after a touchdown and a two-point conversion with 31 seconds to go in the first half. Williams scored on a 23-yard reception for his 25th career touchdown (14 rushing, 11 receiving).

The Vikings got on the scoreboard with three seconds left in the half. Cousins completed three quick passes for 65 yards, and Greg Joseph ended the drive with a 39-yard field goal.

Early in the third quarter, Minnesota pulled within 14-10 on a 44-yard touchdown pass from Cousins to Smith-Marsette. It was the second touchdown of the season for Smith-Marsette, a rookie fifth-round pick out of Iowa.

Chicago made it 17-10 on Santos’ 42-yard field goal with 1:41 remaining in the third quarter.

–Field Level Media

Oct 28, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Green Bay Packers punter Corey Bojorquez (7) against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Packers clear five players from COVID protocol

Five Green Bay players cleared the COVID-19 protocol in time for Sunday night’s game with the Minnesota Vikings, Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst confirmed.

Punter Corey Bojorquez, tight ends Marcedes Lewis and Tyler Davis, guard Ben Braden and linebacker Oren Burks are active for the Week 17 contest between the host Packers (12-3) and NFC North rival Vikings (7-8).

Bojorquez, Lewis and Burks have appeared in all 15 games this season. Davis has played in 12 and Braden in seven.

Three Green Bay players remain on the reserve/COVID-19 list: rookie return specialist Amari Rodgers, defensive lineman Kingsley Keke and linebacker Chauncey Rivers.

–Field Level Media