GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Packers' worst nightmare appeared to be starting all over again.
Aaron Rodgers injured his left knee on a sack by Bears DE Roy Robertson-Harris midway through the second quarter Sunday night but returned to begin the second half after leaving the field on a cart.
Rodgers initially remained down on the field where he was attended to by trainers before walking gingerly off the field and entering the medical tent.
Rodgers emerged from the tent and was carted from the sideline to the locker room while holding his knee. New No. 2 QB DeShone Kizer took over on the next series for Rodgers, who was sacked twice and pressured consistently with the Bears defensive front winning the battle up front.
But Rodgers returned to the field to begin the third quarter in a scene similar to the one from the Packers' 30-20 Lambeau victory over the Lions in the unofficial 2014 NFC North title game. In that game, Rodgers suffered a calf injury in the second quarter but returned early in the third in a 14-all tie to lead two touchdown drives en route to a 30-20 win and another division crown.
The Packers quickly drove down the field upon Rodgers' reentry Sunday night to lead the Packers to a field goal and trim Green Bay's deficit to 17.
Rodgers signed a four-year, $134-million contract extension on Aug. 29. It included a record $102 million guaranteed, making Rodgers the highest-paid player in NFL history. He missed nine games last season with a broken right collarbone, preceding Green Bay going 7-9 and missing the playoffs for the first time in nine seasons.
Whether the Packers are being a bit reckless in letting Rodgers back into a game in which the Packers have been unable to protect him is debatable, but we can all agree it's a great sign that Rodgers is deemed healthy enough to play.