this file photo, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers
stretches his arm during warm ups prior to an NFL football
game against the Minnesota Vikings in Green Bay, Wis.
Rodgers sure looks like he's ready to go during the brief
spurts of Packers practice open to media. But whether the
franchise quarterback will be cleared from a left collarbone
injury in time to play against the Steelers remains in
GREEN BAY —
Aaron Rodgers looked fine on the practice field Thursday. It
doesn't mean he is going to play.
There was no
definitive word on whether Rodgers will be medically cleared to
return from his left collarbone injury in time for Sunday's game
against the Pittsburgh Steelers. It was just another day in the
guessing game called "When Will the Franchise Quarterback
Return" for the Packers.
McCarthy indicated he would name his starter Friday.
Rodgers also made
several references to his playing status being an
Thursday practice, didn't take a lot of reps with the teams but
felt pretty good out there, was feeling good," Rodgers said.
"It's obviously a medical decision and an organizational
decision at this point."
Flat out, Aaron:
Will you be playing Sunday?
medical decision, it's an organizational decision," said
Rodgers, who is listed as "limited" on the official
During a brief
portion of practice open to media Thursday, Rodgers did a little
stretching and looked sharp in position drills. He watched as
backup Matt Flynn led the offense during another short practice
Rodgers practiced well today. Tomorrow is — we have the medical
meetings on Wednesday and Friday, so we'll have a conversation
tomorrow," McCarthy said. "Obviously, today he's still
not medically cleared. Looked very good at practice. I would state
him ready to play."
Flynn took the
majority of the reps Thursday, McCarthy said. Flynn has said he's
preparing this week as if he'll start.
By all accounts,
Rodgers is itching to return. He hasn't played since getting
knocked out of the first series of a 27-20 loss Nov. 4 to the
Green Bay started
0-4-1 without him before rallying for two straight
come-from-behind victories to get back into the NFC North race.
Flynn has played well late in games to lead the Packers, but knows
full well that Rodgers gets the job back whenever he's cleared.
"We want him
back when he's healthy and ready to go, and look forward to
that," receiver Jordy Nelson said. "Hopefully if it's
not this week, we can keep winning, and give him another
For Rodgers, the
frustration level goes down when he's back out there on the
practice field with his teammates. He would much rather have the
ball in his hands than holding a clipboard on Sundays.
He came close to
being cleared last week. Asked about his progress, Rodgers said he
had had completed about every pass in practice after throwing a
few clunkers last week.
point, I have to focus on the things I can control and that's
practicing well, taking care of my business in the weight room,
preparing, being a good teammate," Rodgers said.
The Packers made
a big investment in Rodgers this past offseason, signing him to a
five-year contract extension through the 2019 season worth as much
as $110 million. The 2011 NFL MVP, who turned 30 this month, led
the Packers to a 5-2 start despite a litany of injuries elsewhere
on the team. Receiver Randall Cobb, tight end Jermichael Finley
and linebacker Clay Matthews were among those who got hurt before
Rodgers went down.
Rodgers said he
hasn't had any setbacks. When asked, Rodgers said he had a
"good sense" of whether he would be cleared. And that
that's another Mike McCarthy question there for tomorrow," he
There is at least
definitive word on defensive lineman Johnny Jolly, who is out with
shoulder and neck injuries that McCarthy termed as
"significant." Jolly left in the first half of last
week's 37-36 win over Dallas and never returned.
Jolly made 38
tackles this season, and was a key player during those spurts this
year when the Packers were stopping the run. Jolly turned into an
inspiration on the team, working his way back after having been
away from the game three years following his suspension by the NFL
for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.
loves football, so he was down at first. He's pretty cheery, he's
up now," fellow linemen Ryan Pickett said. "He'll bounce
back. He'll be back next year."