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Aaron Rodgers not cleared, but not ruled out vs. Falcons

Mike McCarthy said Aaron Rodgers hasn't been cleared by doctors, but he hasn't been ruled out for Sunday.

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The wait for Aaron Rodgers to be medically cleared continues.

Though the Green Bay Packers are winless in all five games since their starting quarterback broke his left collarbone, there is still no guarantee that Rodgers will return in time for Sunday's home game against the Atlanta Falcons.

"Aaron Rodgers' status, he has not been cleared yet from the medical staff," coach Mike McCarthy said Tuesday. "Aaron Rodgers will practice tomorrow (Wednesday) in a limited fashion, and we have not ruled him out for the game yet."

By Sunday, Rodgers will be 34 days removed from an injury that was projected to take between 4-to-6 weeks to heal.

When Rodgers practices this week, it won't be his first time doing so. Rodgers was a limited participant in the Tuesday and Wednesday practices leading into the Packers' Thanksgiving Day game in Detroit.

"Aaron wants to play," McCarthy said. "There's no question about it. But it's a medical situation. He has a clear understanding where he is as far as the process of getting back on the field. He feels good, and we're going to see what he can do tomorrow."

With a 5-6-1 record, Green Bay currently has a 6.7 percent chance of earning a playoff spot. If the Packers lose to the Falcons, it will become close to impossible for Green Bay to make it to the postseason for the fifth consecutive year. But even if the Packers drop to 5-7-1, McCarthy insists that Rodgers could still play this season.

"There has been no internal conversations about shutting Aaron Rodgers down," McCarthy said. "Aaron wants to play. When he's healthy, he'll be given the opportunity to play."

While Green Bay waits for the left collarbone of its former NFL MVP to heal, there isn't a surefire answer as to which backup should start at quarterback. The team's original No. 2 QB, Seneca Wallace, is on injured reserve, forcing the Packers to then turn to their former practice-squad quarterback Scott Tolzien. In 10 quarters of action, Tolzien moved the ball effectively downfield, but his five interceptions proved too much for McCarthy to deal with. That led to Matt Flynn, who helped lead Green Bay back from a 16-point deficit against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 12, a game that ultimately resulted in a tie. However, Flynn struggled mightily in Detroit, completing 10-of-20 passes for 139 yards with no touchdowns and one interception.

"Matt Flynn will take the starter reps tomorrow (Wednesday)," McCarthy said. "We just think Matt's further along (than Tolzien) as far as game experience and just a little more comfortable in the system. Scott's worked extremely hard. Frankly, for both Scott and Matt, Scott really had one week of full reps to get ready for the Giants game (on Nov. 17). This will be Matt's first opportunity to get a full week of reps getting ready for the Atlanta game. That's what you have to look at.

"Talking even with Aaron today about trying to maybe get him ready also, to get him a chance to come back, is how do you balance that out? Because at the end of the day, we have to make sure our quarterback is ready to play."



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