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Rodgers Says He’d Have An Open Mind If Packers Ask Him To Rest

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers said he’d have an open mind if the Green Bay Packers get eliminated from playoff contention and team officials approach him about resting to allow more game reps for his backup, Jordan Love.

He’s just hoping the Packers (4-8) make it a moot point by winning out.

“I’d love to finish the season out, but I understand this is a business and there’s a lot of us kind of older guys who play a decent amount and they might want to see some younger guys play,” the four-time MVP said Wednesday. “Hopefully we don’t have to have that conversation. But if that conversation comes up, I’ll approach that with an open mind and without any bitterness or resentment.”

Rodgers has played through a broken right thumb for Green Bay’s last seven games and left the Packers’ 40-33 loss at Philadelphia on Sunday with injured ribs. Rodgers, who turns 39 on Friday, has said he wants to keep playing as long as he’s able and the Packers remain in playoff contention.

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Rodgers would not specify whether any of his ribs were broken.

“I’ve done a lot of rehab the last few days, got some stuff I do at the house as well,” Rodgers said. “Always on my herbs and my teas and all the other things that help make me feel better. So, not surprised I’m feeling better, just happy I avoided a major injury.”

The Packers still have faint postseason hopes, though they probably would have to win their last five games and get plenty of help.

“Obviously, like I said, I want to win out and we don’t have to have those conversations,” Rodgers said. “I understand if we don’t that’s a possibility to have that conversation.”

Packers coach Matt LaFleur said he appreciated the way Rodgers wanted to keep playing through pain.

“It just speaks to how competitive he is, how much he’s invested in this game, this team, regardless of circumstances,” LaFleur said. “And that’s what we kind of talk about on our team all the time is competitive greatness, being your best when your best is required regardless of the circumstance. And that’s one thing you can always expect from him.”

Love filled in for the injured Rodgers at Philadelphia and delivered his best performance thus far, going 6 of 9 for 113 yards with a 63-yard touchdown pass to Christian Watson.

The thumb injury has hindered him and he’s been throwing to an inexperienced group of receivers. The Packers’ most promising pass-catchers, Watson and Romeo Doubs, have rarely been healthy at the same time. That could be changing soon, as Doubs returned to practice on a limited basis Wednesday after missing Green Bay’s last three games with an ankle injury.

The eventual return of Doubs to team up with Watson, who has six touchdown catches in his last three games, could help boost the passing attack as Green Bay attempts a late surge. Rodgers says he can tell his team is still focused on turning things around.

“I’ve been a part of a few bad teams over the years and things kind of become (a group of) independent contractors,” Rodgers said. “Guys kind of punch a time card and get out. And I haven’t felt that way this year.”

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