Much of what coach Mike McCarthy said today suggested Aaron Rodgers is ready to play quarterback for the Packers this week.
But the team’s actions today strongly suggest Rodgers in fact won’t be cleared to face the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.
At his post-practice press conference, McCarthy at one point said Rodgers “looks ready to play.” But McCarthy said Rodgers still hasn’t been cleared to play, and the quarterback’s limited role in practice and terse session with reporters afterward were strong signs that he will miss a seventh straight game because of a broken collarbone.
“Looked very good at practice,” McCarthy said. “I would state him ready to play. But once again we’re going through the process, make sure we’re getting Matt (Flynn) ready to play. Matt took the majority of reps (in practice today).”
Said Rodgers: “Didn’t take a lot of reps with the team but felt pretty good out there, was feeling good. It’s obviously a medical decision and an organizational decision at this point.”
During the portion of practice that was open to reporters today, all signs pointed to Flynn starting again this week. The Packers conducted one short period of team drills today, and Flynn took the starter’s snaps, Scott Tolzien the backup reps, and Rodgers none.
Last Thursday, Rodgers took a significant number of snaps and still didn’t play. If the Packers thought Rodgers might play this week, they almost surely would have given him work in practice today.
McCarthy said the Packers will conduct a medical meeting Friday morning to determine whether Rodgers will play. But after saying several times how good Rodgers looked, McCarthy wouldn’t say that he thinks Rodgers should play.
“You wanted to know how he looks, he looks good,” McCarthy said. “He’s a limited practice participant. He hasn’t been medically cleared.”
Rodgers was unusually short with his answers in his brief, 2 ½-minute session with reporters after McCarthy’s press conference today. He said he has “a good sense of what’s going to happen” with regards to his playing status this week, but wouldn’t say what that feeling is.
When asked who has the final call on his playing status, specifically whether it’s general manager Ted Thompson or team doctor Pat McKenzie, Rodgers said
“That’s a Mike McCarthy question.”
He deferred several other questions to McCarthy also, including on how strong an argument he’ll make to Thompson, Mckenzie and McCarthy on Friday morning to play this week.
Rodgers wouldn’t say whether he’s had or will have another medical scan this week, but said he’s experienced no setbacks in his recovery this week.
“I’m clear of mind, and my body feels good,” he said.