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  • Rob DemovskyESPN Staff Writer Close
    • Covered Packers for Green Bay Press-Gazette from 1997-2013
    • Two-time Wisconsin Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Aaron Rodgers should be able to fully participate in the Green Bay Packers' offseason program, which will start even earlier than usual this year, because he was able to avoid surgery on his left knee.

Rodgers would only reveal that the injury suffered in the season opener against the Bears was a sprain. He wore a brace until the Nov. 4 game at New England. The 35-year-old quarterback had hinted during the season that surgery might be necessary this offseason. But because he sustained a concussion in the regular-season finale against the Lions, he did not speak to reporters after the game or the next day when players cleaned out their lockers, so no one could ask him whether surgery was necessary — until his appearance in Atlanta this weekend before the Super Bowl.

"I feel great," Rodgers said on NFL Network. "My body feels really good. Instead of getting surgery postseason, decided to kind of go through a different routine with my knee than I've done in the past, and I'm feeling really, really good. Got a concussion the last game, that's cleared up. I'm feeling really good. I'm getting back into my workout routine, but the first month of the offseason is a lot about yoga and traveling."

Rodgers did not elaborate on his routine.

He last had surgery on that knee after the 2015 season. That procedure was described as a "cleanup of an old injury." That's the same knee on which Rodgers had ACL reconstruction done during college at the University of California, stemming from a high school basketball injury.

"It's the lead leg, the plant leg, it's not the brace or the back of the drop leg, which I haven't had, thankfully, a major right knee injury, but I've dealt with the left knee injury since I was 16 years old," Rodgers said in September shortly after the season.

"Fortunately Doc cleaned me out a few years ago after the season and it's been excellent since then."

Rodgers said he will make his annual appearance in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am this week. He will play with his regular partner, PGA Tour winner Jerry Kelly, a Wisconsin native.

The Packers can begin their offseason program on April 1, two weeks earlier than usual, because they have a new coach, Matt LaFleur. Teams with returning head coaches can't start until April 15. Rodgers wasn't asked directly about LaFleur but acknowledged there has been "a lot of change."

"It's tough at first," Rodgers said on NFL Network. "But it usually works out for the best, so I'm excited about what's going on in Green Bay and the future there."

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