The Green Bay Packers are getting healthier and guarding against complacency before opening the second half of their season Sunday as two-touchdown favorites over the slumping Jacksonville Jaguars.
Green Bay (6-2) has withstood a series of injuries to lead the NFC North at the midway point of the season. Running back Aaron Jones (calf) came back last week after missing two games and Pro Bowl offensive tackle David Bakhtiari (chest) has practiced fully this week after sitting out three games.
The Packers share the NFC's best record with New Orleans and Seattle.
The Packers fell 28-22 to a Minnesota Vikings team that had entered Lambeau Field with a 1-5 record.
Jacksonville (1-7) is struggling even more than that Minnesota team was a couple of weeks ago.
The Jaguars are 13 1/2-point underdogs and have dropped seven straight games since opening the season with a 27-20 victory over the Indianapolis Colts. They're allowing 418.1 yards per game, 6.4 yards per play and 30.9 points per game to rank 31st out of 32 NFL teams in each of those three categories.
James Robinson, an undrafted free agent from Illinois State, has rushed for 580 yards and has 27 catches for 225 yards. Laviska Shenault Jr., a second-round pick from Colorado, has 30 catches for 323 yards. Jake Luton, a sixth-round selection from Oregon State, made his first career start last week and threw for 304 yards with one touchdown pass and one touchdown run.
The Jaguars signed Chase McLaughlin from Illinois off Minnesota's practice squad Tuesday and expect him to play in Green Bay after traveling nearly 3,000 miles and not getting to practice. McLaughlin has to spend several days going through COVID-19 protocols before joining teammates for a walkthrough Saturday.
He is the team's sixth kicker this season.
Green Bay's Davante Adams is off to the fastest start of his career. Even though he missed two games with a hamstring injury, Adams is tied for second among all NFL players with eight touchdown catches, one behind Kansas City's Tyreek Hill.
Rodgers has thrown 24 touchdown passes with only two interceptions this season. His two interceptions both came in a road loss to Tampa Bay. Rodgers already is on the verge of surpassing his full-season touchdown pass totals from 2018 (25) and 2019 (26).