‘These guys have been grinding hard:’ Banged-up Packers head into bye with chance to recover

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur says his team’s upcoming bye week will give a banged-up roster — including quarterback Aaron Rodgers — a chance to heal as they prepare for a playoff push.

“You always want the bye to work to your advantage,” LaFleur said Monday. “Hopefully it’ll help the guys get some much-needed rest to recharge the battery and potentially get some of these guys that have been on IR or have sustained injuries to get them back to be in a better position to be close to 100 percent.”

LaFleur says all of the players will be off until next Monday, when preparations for their next game against the Chicago Bears begins. Coaches will do some bye week self-evaluation Tuesday of this week before also taking the rest of the week off.

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Rodgers’ broken pinky toe is one of the injuries the Packers hope will improve with a week off to rest. While there have been some reports indicating Rodgers won’t get surgery on the toe, LaFleur didn’t comment one way or another.

“I don’t know where that’s at,” LaFleur said. “I know he’s gathering other opinions, so we’ll see where that goes.”

LaFleur also said he didn’t know what the timeframe for recovery would be if Rodgers opted to play through it and let the broken toe heal on its own.

“I know he’s battling through,” LaFleur said of Rodgers. “I think you can see it at the end of the game as the game wears on, he starts to have a more noticeable limp. He’s as tough as they come, he’s played through so many things throughout the course of his career.”

The Packers enter into their bye week with a record of 9-3, despite several significant players — including tackle David Bakhtiari, linebacker Za’Darius Smith, cornerback Jaire Alexander missing all or much of the season to this point.