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Aaron Rodgers focusing on his health, not return date

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  • By Austin Knoblauch NFL.com
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Don't ask Aaron Rodgers when he'll return from the broken collarbone that has derailed his 2017 season.

Speaking to reporters Friday, the Packers quarterback wasn't about to make foolhardy prognostications about whether or not he'll be back to spearhead a potential Green Bay playoff run.

His message to anyone who'll listen? Check back in about six weeks.

"It's going to come down to the bone healing. That's the most important thing," Rodgers said, per the team's official website. "There won't be a decision made until that bone is healed, so it's not even a conversation if it's not where it needs to be," Rodgers told reporters Friday.

Rodgers suffered the broken collarbone during the Packers' Week 6 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. He was placed on injured reserve Oct. 20, meaning the earliest he could come back would be Dec. 17 against the Carolina Panthers. A lot of healing still needs to happen before Rodgers is back under center.

How the Packers play over the next five weeks is another big factor in determining whether Rodgers will return this season. At 4-3, the Packers are very much in the NFC North title chase, but will they still be there in December? Brett Hundley's performance against the New Orleans Saints did little to instill confidence in the Packers' playoff aspirations, and a potential mid-December return for Rodgers might be too late for him to make a difference -- and not worth the risk.

For Rodgers, where the Packers might be in the standings by then isn't his concern. His focus remains on doing everything he can to get healthy as soon as possible.

"It will be the bone healing. But there's a timetable," Rodgers said. "I believe I can practice in six weeks based on the schedule. So if I'm at a place at that point healing-wise and [able] to throw, then I'll be out here. And if I'm not, I won't."

As for the hit that put him on IR, Rodgers appeared to be over what happened on field between him and Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr.

"It was deemed a legal hit, and you know that you don't have the same protection outside the pocket," Rodgers said, per ESPN's Rob Demovsky. "A simple shove-down probably would have sufficed in that situation, but it is what it is."

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