Packers' Rodgers expects to play preseason opener Thursday

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is expecting to play for the Green Bay Packers in their first preseason game this week.

The Packers held their final open practice Tuesday before they visit the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots on Thursday night.

Before practice, Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy said all of his players who make the trip to the East Coast are expected to play.

Last year, McCarthy held out Rodgers as well as running back Eddie Lacy and top receiver Jordy Nelson from the Packers' preseason opener against the Tennessee Titans.

Rodgers said after practice he expects the starters will play for a short time.

Linebacker Clay Matthews, who returned to practice Monday after missing a week because of knee soreness, says he's preparing to play Thursday.