Aaron Rodgers in pads at Green Bay Packers practice


Aaron Rodgers appeared to take another step forward in practice Thursday.

According to multiple reporters from the scene, the Green Bay Packers quarterback practiced in pads for the first time since suffering a broken collarbone Nov. 4.

Does that mean Rodgers will play Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons? Not so fast. Matt Flynn took the first-team reps in practice for the second straight day, with Rodgers being limited to individual drills. And Packers coach Mike McCarthy said his all-world quarterback is a "step closer" to returning, but there's no more clarity regarding his status for Sunday.

Practicing is good, and practicing in pads is better, but Rodgers isn't a real option for the Packers until he's medically cleared, which didn't happen Tuesday.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported on NFL Network's "Around the League Live" that Rodgers is unlikely to play against the Falcons, according to a source informed of the quarterback's progress. Rodgers, who needs to show he can withstand contact, cannot play if a scan doesn't clear him, per Rapoport, and there are no more scans scheduled.

Unless we hear of more tests this week, you can safely assume it will be Flynn behind center in a virtual must-win game Sunday.

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