Aaron Rodgers holding out hope of playing Sunday

GREEN BAY, Wis. — The uncertainty surrounding Aaron
Rodgers’ status for Sunday’s game continues. It’s perhaps even more unclear
than ever as to whether the Green Bay Packers will have their star quarterback
available for their must-win game on the road against the Dallas Cowboys.

One day after taking practice snaps with the Packers’
starting offense for the first time, Rodgers spoke with reporters in the locker
room Thursday. However, Rodgers’ comments served to do little more than add
confusion to the increasingly indiscernible plot.

“I feel a little better than last week,” Rodgers
said. “Another week, to be able to relax over the weekend I think helped,
and I’m feeling a little bit better out there.”

Last week, Rodgers stated that he had strength and range of
motion in his throws, and that an encouraging medical scan was the only thing
keeping him from playing in a game. Rodgers hasn’t had a scan on his broken
left collarbone since Dec. 3, but now it’s not quite as simple as an improved
medical checkup being the difference between playing or not playing.

“I think there’s more to it than that (just a
scan),” Rodgers said. “But I would guess there would have to be
another scan for me to be on the field.”

When asked if he’s holding out hope of playing this weekend,
Rodgers replied, “Ah, yes.”

Coach Mike McCarthy said that Rodgers has not been medically
cleared yet but added that the team re-evaluates players on Fridays. It’s on
Friday that Green Bay will have to make an official announcement about Rodgers’
probability for playing in Dallas.

“The topic of ‘Is he playing in the game?’ versus ‘Is
he medically cleared?,’ those are two totally different issues,” McCarthy
said Wednesday.

So, to recap: Rodgers hasn’t had a medical scan in nine
days, but if he has an updated scan done Friday and it shows healing, it
doesn’t necessarily mean he plays in the game.

Rodgers was able to do more in Thursday’s practice than
Wednesday’s, and even though he’s taken some snaps with the first-team offense
this week, he’s still technically a limited practice participant.

“He’s Aaron Rodgers; the thing you appreciate is my man
can throw the football,” McCarthy said. “He throws the heck out of
it. It’s good to have him out there.”

Rodgers said he’s been surprised by the constant daily
coverage of his injury status, but such is the life of a former NFL Most
Valuable Player late in a season in which his team still has a shot at making
the playoffs.

“I felt a little bit rusty (Wednesday), took a little
bit more as far as reps today and felt better,” Rodgers said. “I felt
like I was moving well. I feel rested, my legs do, been able to do more in the
weight room. I felt better out there throwing it well, but there’s a lot that
goes into it from the ground up — legs, being in the right position, footwork
and stuff.

“Today was a better day.”

But will that “better day” result in Rodgers
playing Sunday? That answer still remains a mystery.

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