Around the NFL  

 

Packers giddy about possible Aaron Rodgers return

Print

Aaron Rodgers will channel his inner DeShone Kizer in practice this week.

The injured Green Bay Packers quarterback is making strides in his return from a collarbone injury and will take some scout-team reps ahead of Sunday's tilt versus the Cleveland Browns.

Coach Mike McCarthy said Monday that Rodgers won't get medical clearance until next week, at the earliest, but can take part in scout-team reps as he slowly makes his way back to playing shape.

"They wear red shirts, so obviously scout-team work is something he will do," McCarthy said, via the team's official website. "It's important for him to feel the pass rush and get acclimated.

"We'll be in pads on Thursday, so we have to identify exactly what we want to get done there. That's why we call it trial return. He's not cut loose to go full in practice where he's able to do everything."

Rodgers practiced last Saturday, jumpstarting a potential return on Dec. 17 versus the Carolina Panthers. Sunday's overtime win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers kept the Packers in playoff reach, setting up the Pro Bowler's possible comeback bid for the final three tilts of the season.

Days after the practice, teammates were still raving about their franchise quarterback.

"That boy," running back Jamaal Williams said, via the Green Bay Press-Gazette, "he came back, and he just flicked it. I was like, 'Dang!' I was like, 'Wow! Are you sure that man is injured?' I was like, 'That is far! I couldn't even do that on my good day.' I mean, he flicked it. I feel like he didn't even throw it. He just flicked it."

Added defensive lineman Quinton Dial: "I can't tell you how he feels, but from what I saw, he looks like himself."

There is no guarantee Rodgers is medically cleared by Dec. 17, when he's eligible to return. The Packers will take a cautious approach with their franchise quarterback. At 6-6, a victory Sunday over the winless Browns would keep Green Bay's faint playoff hopes alive, but the Pack still need to win out and get some help from those teams ahead of them in the standings.

"It's big," left tackle David Bakhtiari said of Rodgers' potential return, "but at the end of the day, we've got to take care of what we can take care of. If we don't give him an opportunity, there's no point. So we know he's going to do what he can. Just like when anyone's hurt, you know they're going to come back. You're going to fight as much as you can.

"On our side, we've just got to make sure we take care of business for him, so when he comes back he can really give us that jolt on the field with his presence, and that will be big."

If you can't envision Rodgers returning to the field and leading the Packers to a Week 17 win in Detroit to cap a seemingly miraculous playoff comeback, you haven't been paying attention to the NFC North the past decade.

Print

Fan Discussion