Pack QB Rodgers sits out practice, status unclear

Aaron Rodgers hasn’t returned to practice for the Green Bay

Packers, and he might sit out the rest of the week. As of

Wednesday, he hadn’t even been cleared to attend meetings or watch

game film.

And Rodgers’ recovery from his second concussion of the season

is only one of the problems facing the Green Bay Packers going into

Sunday night’s game at New England.

The Packers looked like a lock to make the playoffs a few weeks

ago, but last Sunday’s surprising 7-3 loss at Detroit has put their

postseason hopes in jeopardy. Meanwhile, a season filled with

significant injuries keeps getting worse: defensive end Cullen

Jenkins is set to miss his second straight game because of a calf

injury, and the Packers might be down to a third-string outside

linebacker for a road game against the hottest offense in

football.

Is their season about to slip away?

”I’m not discouraged, because we’ve still got an opportunity,”

cornerback Charles Woodson said. ”As long as you’ve got an

opportunity, you control it. We’ve got a big game, and it’s a game

we feel like we can win – and we’ve got to win.”

At this point, it looks like they’ll have to do so without their

quarterback.

Rodgers did not practice Wednesday after sustaining a concussion

in the second quarter of Sunday’s loss. He also sustained a

concussion in an Oct. 10 loss at Washington and played against

Miami the following week.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Rodgers would not practice

Thursday, and there is a ”slim-to-none chance” he will practice

Friday before a final decision on his status is made Saturday.

”We understand the importance of the quarterback position, but

this is about Aaron Rodgers, first, No. 1, being healthy,”

McCarthy said. ”And then after that we’ll make a decision on

whether he’ll play or not.”

As of Wednesday, McCarthy said Rodgers wasn’t cleared to attend

meetings or watch game film; for concussion patients, exposure to

electronic screens and lights often is limited because it can make

symptoms worse and prolong their recovery time.

”He did not participate in any meetings,” McCarthy said.

”There are several restrictions and guidelines that the medical

process recommends, and we definitely adhere to those.”

McCarthy said the idea that the Packers’ playoff hopes would be

in trouble with a loss to the Patriots won’t figure into their

decision on Rodgers’ status.

”We’re not going to make a decision medically off of one

game,” he said. ”Everybody knows this is an important game and

our opponent is a very good opponent. So this is clearly a medical

decision in Aaron’s best interest. Once we pass that hurdle and

that decision is made that he is healthy, then we’ll talk about

Aaron Rodgers as part of what is the best football decision.”

Backup Matt Flynn took the majority of snaps in Wednesday’s

practice, with practice squad quarterback Graham Harrell also

getting some work.

Flynn, a seventh-round pick out of LSU in 2008, played OK in

relief of Rodgers on Sunday – although he threw an interception in

the red zone and couldn’t finish off a late-game drive with a

chance to win the game.

He said he’s preparing this week as if he’s going to start.

”I feel good about it,” he said. ”It was a good day at

practice today and I’m excited. I’m just going to go through the

week like I’m definitely going to be playing. Hopefully, Aaron can

get back, but I’m just going to go in there like I’m going to be

playing and prepare like it.”

Flynn said he saw Rodgers on Wednesday morning.

”He seemed fine,” Rodgers said. ”I don’t really know the

symptoms or whatever’s going on but I saw him this morning and he

seemed fine. We had a conversation, just a normal

conversation.”

While Rodgers’ status remains iffy, the Packers ruled Jenkins

out for Sunday and outside linebacker Frank Zombo isn’t likely to

play because of a knee sprain. Zombo, an undrafted rookie free

agent, took over as the starter after a season-ending injury to

Brad Jones.

Now the job might go to Erik Walden, who was released by Miami

in September and signed with the Packers in October.

Left guard Daryn Colledge may return to practice Thursday after

spraining his knee, and Clay Matthews remains limited in practice

because of a lingering shin injury.

It’s just the latest batch of injury issues for a team that has

13 players on injured reserve, and now must find a way to beat the

Patriots.

”We feel that there’s no room for error,” cornerback Tramon

Williams said. ”Obviously, we’ve got to come out and play our best

football. We haven’t done that the past couple of weeks. But it’s

the NFL. It’s a new week. You show up a different team every week

and hopefully we’ll come out and put a complete game on

display.”