When Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur met with the media on Wednesday, he made it sound like cornerback/returner Keisean Nixon (groin) and receiver Christian Watson (hip) were expected to practice this entire week. At least on the first practice of the week, that appeared to be true as both Nixon and Watson — the two players who were listed as questionable in the final injury report of last week — were officially limited. The practice was a walkthrough, which means that the injury report today was technically an estimation of what would have been the participation at faster-paced practice.
Packers only worked at half speed, but here’s the practice report. pic.twitter.com/Rugki6Ozcw— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) January 4, 2023
The big question regarding these two injuries is if Nixon is going to be healthy enough to play defensive snaps against the Detroit Lions on Sunday or if the team even wants him to. With Nixon out and Darnell Savage back in the starting lineup as a safety, the team deployed a new-look defense against the Minnesota Vikings in the Packers’ Week 17 blowout win. In nickel looks, Savage was kicked into the slot and Rudy Ford came off the bench to play safety. Will Green Bay continue the gameplan that shutdown Justin Jefferson or will Nixon, who played just three special teams snaps and no defensive snaps against Minnesota, be reinserted into the slot position?
The only non-participant in practice for the Packers on Wednesday was quarterback Aaron Rodgers (thumb, knee), who missed the first practice of last week’s preparation due to knee inflammation coming off of the team’s win against the Miami Dolphins the week prior. Rodgers is expected to start this week and there is some good news on his injury status: He is no longer listed with a rib injury on the injury report.
Beyond Nixon and Watson, four other players were listed as limited today: left tackle David Bakhtiari (knee, abdomen), left guard Elgton Jenkins (knee), right tackle Yosh Nijman (shoulder) and running back Aaron Jones (knee, ankle). All but Nijman finished the game against the Vikings on Sunday and even Nijman could have finished the game, had LaFleur and the coaching staff let him. Per LaFleur in the post-game presser, Nijman — who left action after eight offensive snaps — was cleared to return to the Vikings game but the team held him back due to being knocked out of back-to-back games with his shoulder injury.
As far as the Lions go, the main injury to monitor is to center Frank Ragnow (foot), who was a non-participant in practice on Wednesday. Ragnow, a potential All-Pro candidate, Ragnow, who has been playing through his foot injury since September and has been consistently listed as questionable going into games.