Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, as expected, was a limited participant at Wednesday’s practice.
Rodgers, who is recovering from a broken collarbone sustained against Chicago on Nov. 4, wouldn’t put any odds on being cleared to play Atlanta on Sunday.
“It’s a medical decision,” Rodgers said on Wednesday. “There (are) three parts to it: the strength, the range of motion and the evidence that we see on the scan. Two out of three are passed so far.”
The third part is the scan, which on Tuesday hadn’t shown the collarbone had sufficiently healed. Coach Mike McCarthy said “we’re not going to do that” when asked if there was another scan scheduled. That would suggest Rodgers is a long shot to suit up against the Falcons.
“I think you have to just follow the protocol of the rehab,” McCarthy said. “This is a medical situation just like every other player, and they have a plan for him to progress and hopefully he comes in here tomorrow and feels better and maybe he’ll be able to do more tomorrow, so we’ll see.”
During his conference call, Falcons coach Mike Smith said he expects Rodgers to start.
“Aaron is definitely in that elite category. We’re anticipating that he’s going to play this week. I know that there was information that came out (Tuesday) that said that he wasn’t cleared but he’s not been ruled out. We’re taking that that he’s playing. That’s what our preparation has got to be. He can distribute the ball, he makes everybody around him so much better. He understands Mike’s offense, he gets them into the best play. It’s fun to watch him, as a coach, stand over the ball and look and try to dissect what you’re trying to do defensively. Once that ball’s snapped, he’s got the ability to extend plays. He’s got such a quick release. He will be a big challenge for us on Sunday.”
That doesn’t seem likely. Then again, when Rodgers had an injured shoulder in 2008, he was listed as doubtful for the game against Atlanta. Matt Flynn took every snap at practice that week, only to find out about an hour-and-a-half before the game that Rodgers would get the start, Flynn recalled on Wednesday.
Without Rodgers, the Packers are 0-4-1 and their playoff chances have largely evaporated.
“It’s tough not to be out there with the guys,” Rodgers said. “I think that’s where the frustration lies. It’s tough to not see us winning football games, but, you know, I need to take some of my own advice: worry about the things you can control. I can’t control the healing of my bone. That’s frustrating. But I’ve been preparing as if I was going to play every week and trying to help Matt and Scott (Tolzien) out as much as I possibly can. But it’s been tough to not see us winning football games.”
Packers injury report
Did not participate: OLB Mike Neal (abdomen), DE C.J. Wilson (ankle). Limited: C Evan Dietrich-Smith (knee/ankle), OLB Nick Perry (foot), QB Aaron Rodgers (collarbone). Full: TE Brandon Bostick (concussion), ILB Jamari Lattimore (quad).
Along with the knee that knocked Dietrich-Smith out of the Detroit game, he injured an ankle at practice.
“Good times, right? “You can just keep piling them on,” he said.
Falcons injury report
Limited: TE Tony Gonzalez (toe), C Peter Konz (ankle), S Zeke Motta (hand), LB Sean Weatherspoon (knee).
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.