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Matthews: We should've kept Aaron Rodgers off IR

The way Aaron Rodgers looks in rehab has his teammate thinking the Green Bay Packers probably shouldn't have put him on injured reserve.

Linebacker Clay Matthews, while rehabbing his groin injury suffered in Week 11, got a firsthand look at the quarterback's progress from a broken collarbone.

"This past week, being a part of that rehab group, to watch Aaron, what he's been doing in there, I think we probably should have kept him off IR," Matthews told Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "The way he's coming along, some of the balls he's throwing, accuracy-wise, everything a quarterback has to do, is pretty remarkable.

"So, it would be really neat to see him out there, but unfortunately, he'll have to wait two weeks prior to coming back."

Rodgers has to sit out a minimum of eight weeks under the IR rules. He's eligible to return to practice at the end of this week but won't be able to play in a game until Week 15 against the Carolina Panthers.

Since Rodgers went down in Week 6, the Packers are 1-5 with Brett Hundley lined up behind center. If Green Bay can get on a winning streak, Matthews thinks their season is far from over especially with the possibility of Rodgers returning.

"We have to win these next five. I mean, that's the reality of it," Matthews explained. "I don't have any 'relax' one-liners or 'run the table' or whatever. I'll leave that up to Aaron. But that's the reality of it. We have to get it done."

Matthews added: "Part of that is if you're looking at the big picture, I know no game is bigger than the next one. But we have to win these next two and when Aaron's back at the helm, we have a pretty good squad. That's the reality of it. So, hopefully we get to see him because that means we're winning ballgames."

If the Packers want to see Rodgers, these next two tilts against the Buccaneers and Browns are must-win.

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