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Aaron Rodgers cleared to return, to start vs. Panthers

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Aaron Rodgers is back.

The Green Bay Packers quarterback posted on his Instagram page late Tuesday night that he's been cleared to return after breaking his right collarbone in a loss to the Minnesota Vikings in Week 6. Per NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, he will start Sunday against the Carolina Panthers.

"It's been a long road from that day to this, but I'm happy to say I've been medically cleared to return," Rodgers wrote. "Thanks for all the love, support, prayers, and well wishes over the past 8 weeks and a big thank you to Dr McKenzie and our incredible training staff. #riseagain"

Rodgers initially injured the clavicle on Oct. 15 when Anthony Barr drove the QB's throwing shoulder into the turf. The Packers placed the quarterback on injured reserve just days later following Rodgers' surgery to repair the break. But Rodgers made the speedy recovery, and, eligible to be activated from IR this week, the QB will start this weekend.

"One of the big factors that played into this was Aaron Rodgers very, very badly wanted to play," Rapoport said on NFL Network on Tuesday night. "And that's one thing that's been clear the entire time with Rodgers is ever since he broke his collarbone, he was aggressive in his recovery to try to get ready for Week 15."

The news couldn't come at a better time for Green Bay. At 7-6, the Packers likely need to run the table in their final three games (at Carolina, vs. Minnesota, at Detroit) to have a shot at the playoffs. Prior to the injury, Rodgers logged 1,385 passing yards, 13 touchdowns, just three interceptions and a 103.2 quarterback rating in six games.

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