Aaron Rodgers raising 'competitive level' of Packers' practices

Ryan Wood
Packers News
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Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) tosses a football during practice at the Don Hutson Center on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 in Ashwaubenon, Wis.

GREEN BAY – Mike McCarthy is pleased with how Aaron Rodgers looks in practice, but at this point that isn’t much of a surprise.

The Green Bay Packers quarterback isn’t medically prepared to practice in full, but McCarthy said Rodgers has been “impressive” every step along his recovery path from a broken right collarbone. Now, that impressiveness extends to how well he has thrown the football.

“Nothing surprises me with Aaron,” McCarthy said Thursday. “He’s an exceptional talent, but having the opportunity to watch him go through the rehab process, it’s been probably a good month that we’ve seen him do a number of different things. I go back to probably three or four weeks ago, when he was doing the long toss with a softball, he was just doing things a lot quicker than I think all of us would anticipate.

“The training staff has done a great job, he’s done a great job and he looks like himself. He’s back there slinging it around and throwing with great velocity. His recovery has been impressive.”

Rodgers won’t be medically cleared this week, McCarthy said. He’s eligible to return from injured reserve starting next week at the Carolina Panthers, but first doctors must determine whether Rodgers’ surgically repaired right clavicle has healed enough.

Regardless, McCarthy said he’s happy with what Rodgers’ presence has brought to his team’s practices.

“The competitive level,” McCarthy said, “that’s always an obvious when he steps on the field, because he just brings the whole level of competition up and the energy that he brings to the practice field. So that’s the first thing that jumps out at you. And frankly just the ability to get out there and be in the pocket and move around, particularly in the passing game. So I thought it was really good work for him.”

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