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Rodgers hoping Packers clear him to play this week

Dec. 17, 2013
 
Aaron Rodgers said Tuesday that getting through practice last week without any pain was a major step toward his returning to the field. Evan Siegle/Press-Gazette Media
Aaron Rodgers said Tuesday that getting through practice last week without any pain was a major step toward his returning to the field. Evan Siegle/Press-Gazette Media

Aaron Rodgers sounded relatively hopeful that his broken collarbone has healed enough to get him cleared to this week but gave no stronger indication than that about his status for the Packers’ game Sunday against Pittsburgh.

Rodgers on his weekly radio show on ESPN Milwaukee said that getting through practice last week without any pain was a major step. He also suggested that the risk-reward part of the equation tilts more toward playing now that the Packers can qualify for the playoffs by winning their final two games.

But Rodgers also said the decision is “organizational,” which likely means Dr. Pat
McKenzie and general manager Ted Thompson will have the final say, and he said that they will do what is in Rodgers’ best interest.

“This is maybe not what people want to hear with (it) being dragged out and stuff, but it’s just how you have to have go about the process because it’s a combination of a lot of things,” Rodgers said. “Obviously there’s strong opinions on what should happen, but the organization is going to do what’s best by me, and I’m going to try to make (playing) at least a conversation (with the medical and football staffs).”

Rodgers said he’s hardly thrown since practice last Thursday, so he’s hoping to return to practice Wednesday without having suffered any setbacks after five days more of rest and healing.

Last week, Rodgers took some first-team snaps in practice Wednesday and Thursday, but on Friday morning McKenzie and Thompson told him his collarbone hadn’t healed enough to risk re-injury.

“Doesn’t mean I was happy about it, but understood,” Rodgers said. “I’ve got a lot of respect and trust in Pat McKenzie, I think he does an incredible job for us. Doesn’t mean I’m not going to battle him though. I think the organization has stated they’re going to do what’s in my best interest, I know that’s how Pat feels. But I’d like to think this thing is going to be healed up at some point to get out on the field.”

Rodgers is 6 ˝ weeks removed from breaking his collarbone on Nov. 4. With the Packers now in control of their playoff destiny, he’s hoping the last week of healing will be enough to convince the team he should be cleared to play.

“I think there has to be on some level the risk-reward conversation,” he said. “You have to base that off the evidence you see on a (medical) scan, but also how I’m feeling. If I’m able to do normal football movements without pain, obviously that goes into the equation. A few weeks ago that wasn’t even in the equation because I had pain. Last week I felt more like myself, I think the guys would say I looked like myself out there, and I knew I was closer.”

Rodgers also said that he didn’t think he’d have much if any rust after how he performed in practice last week.

“I would rely on the (other players), their answers, to see how they thought I looked last week,” he said. “But I felt pretty good.”

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Get Green Bay Packers updates as they happen from our reporting team: (from left) Mike Vandermause, Wes Hodkiewicz and Pete Dougherty.

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