Is 'Reward' Greater Than 'Risk' for Rodgers?

Rodgers (Ronald Martinez - Getty)

That is Aaron Rodgers' hope as he tries to get the go-ahead for Sunday's game against Pittsburgh. Rodgers' broken collarbone hasn't fully healed but the NFC North championship is within risk.

All along, Aaron Rodgers has used the phrase "risk vs. reward" as he's fought to return from a broken collarbone.

And that's especially true now that the Green Bay Packers control their fate in the NFC North race.

"I think there has to be on some level a risk-reward conversation," Rodgers told ESPN Milwaukee's Jason Wilde on his weekly radio show on Tuesday. "You have to base that on the evidence you see on the scan, but also how I'm feeling and if I'm able to do normal football movements without pain. That obviously goes into the equation."

Last week, the risk was considered too great. Rodgers practiced extensively on Wednesday and Thursday but couldn't convince Dr. Pat McKenzie to clear him.

The question is, can Rodgers convince McKenzie this week? Rodgers said he won't get scanned this week, intimating the collarbone hasn't fully healed.

"I think you can probably guess," Rodgers said of the results if he were to be scanned this week. "I have an idea what it's going to look like based on the previous one, the amount of days we have between scans, project that forward to a similar amount of days and have a pretty good idea."

So, with the practice week for Sunday's game against Pittsburgh beginning on Wednesday, Rodgers' path looks similar. Two weeks ago, before the Atlanta game, Rodgers practiced on Wednesday but felt pain doing things as simple as taking a snap and handing off and did almost nothing the next two days. Last week before the Dallas game, the pain wasn't an issue, so he practiced extensively on Thursday before being shut down on Friday.

"Last week, I felt more like myself," he said. "I think the guys would say I looked like myself and I knew I was closer. It's Tuesday here, I haven't practiced this week. I kind of did the same thing I did last week after I was ruled out Friday morning. "I really didn't do anything Friday. Only threw a couple Sunday morning. And so we're sitting here with another four, five days of rest while still doing my strengthening exercises and my posture stuff. So, we'll see how I feel tomorrow."

The Packers are back in the playoff chase after Matt Flynn led big second-half comebacks against the Falcons and Cowboys. With Detroit's collapse, the Packers would win the NFC North by beating Pittsburgh on Sunday and Chicago next week.

"It's amazing that we're sitting here 7-6-1 with a chance to win two and be in (the playoffs)," Rodgers said. "Not only that, but win two and be in and maybe be the (No.) 3 seed."

Rodgers, obviously, gives the Packers their best chance at winning these games and getting into the playoffs. However, if what Rodgers termed an "organizational decision" is based solely on the state of Rodgers' collarbone and the risk if sustaining a more severe injury, would McKenzie, coach Mike McCarthy and general manager Ted Thompson sign off on Rodgers playing on Sunday?

"Sometimes those guys have to save you from yourself," Rodgers said. "Doc and I always have had a close relationship and an honest relationship. I think he trusts me on how I'm feeling. It doesn't mean I'm not going to battle him."


Agree or disagree?: Discuss hot Packers topics in our, free forums. Leave Bill a question in the subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum.


Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.

PackerReport.com Recommended Stories


  • The Packers are confident that their star quarterback will be healthy following a well-timed bye. Aaron Rodgers' ailing hamstring isn't the only issue that needs mending following a blowout loss at…

  • It's our Play of the Game, Player of the Game, gaze into the Crystal Ball and 16 story-telling numbers — including YAC, missed tackles and yards after contact, plus several others that reverse some…

  • With high-flying Drew Brees and hobbled Aaron Rodgers, the Packers are left hamstrung at New Orleans. For Green Bay, the bye comes at a good time with its star quarterback playing the final quarter…

  • Michigan President Mark Schlissel officially announced the resignation of athletic director Dave Brandon Friday. Schlissel appointed Jim Hackett as the interim AD with the plan moving forward to hire…

  • The initial basketball signing period begins in less than two weeks and there are currently 22 players in Scout.com's 2015 top 100 still uncommitted. Who are those 22 players considering and who will…

Up Next


Tweets