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

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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