GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Looking good, Aaron Rodgers.
Coach Mike McCarthy said his quarterback arrived at Green Bay Packers training camp in great shape, just in time for his 12th season in the NFL.
"I would say this is the best shape I've seen him in," McCarthy said Monday as players reported for medical and conditioning tests.
Receiver Jordy Nelson, though, won't take part in the first practice of camp on Tuesday.
Nelson was one of six Packers placed on the physically unable to perform list on Monday. Nelson is coming back from a torn right ACL injury that kept him out for the 2015 season.
Coaches have raved about Nelson's work ethic and rehab habits in the offseason. The Packers have also said that they might be cautious with Nelson as he comes back from injury. The Packers also have five preseason games this year since they play in the Hall of Fame game on Aug. 7.
Nelson's return should help boost an offense that went through uncharacteristic struggles last season.
"You're talking about two players that have, shoot, thousands of reps invested in their time together. Yeah, I have great confidence they'll get that back," McCarthy said.
Rodgers last season had his lowest passer rating (92.7) and completion rate (60.7) since taking over as the starter in 2008. He had minor surgery after the playoffs for a knee injury that he hurt in high school.
In the offseason, Rodgers adjusted his diet. The two-time MVP, who turns 33 in December, said in June that he was at his lowest weight since his second year in the league in 2007.
To McCarthy, Rodgers seems refreshed and rejuvenated.
"I would say Aaron's vibe, and really his offseason participation and performance looks to line up for a great year," McCarthy said.
It's starting a little earlier than usual, too.
Preseason is a little longer this year because the Packers will play in the Hall of Fame game against Indianapolis in Canton, Ohio, on Aug. 7. Players will have barely digested the playbook by the time the Packers kick off against the Colts. The Packers also have more night practices.
There's more time to get ready, and yet it seems that the Packers need to pick up the pace of preparations, too.
"So we'll start that tonight, foot on the gas and get that done," McCarthy said.
In Rodgers, Nelson and about 13 more players, the Packers have a group of veterans with at least six years of experience that is expected to set the tone for a team with Super Bowl hopes. It could be one of the team's best leadership cores yet, McCarthy said.
And it's no surprise that Rodgers is the most important. He was as meticulous in his offseason preparation as ever.
"You want to fit it all together and get it repped as an offense, so that process was very smooth," McCarthy said. "I would say he's ready to go."