Rodgers will start for Packers, but LB Matthews' status doubtful

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Packers center Scott Wells is convinced Aaron Rodgers is over the concussion that put the quarterback's playing status in doubt earlier this week.

"He seems to be back to his old self," Wells said after practice Friday. "He seems fine. He seems to be at the top of his game."

Rodgers practiced for the second consecutive day and appears ready to start in Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins.

Rodgers went through a full workout one day after he was cleared to return to practice on a limited basis. Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Rodgers won't need any more post-concussion tests before Sunday's game.

"Unless there's any type of setback between now and the game, I anticipate Aaron to play on Sunday," McCarthy said.

The Packers listed Rodgers as probable on the injury report for Sunday. McCarthy said Rodgers was to meet later Friday with the team's medical staff for a post-practice evaluation.

Rodgers suffered his first-ever concussion in the Packers' loss at Washington on Sunday.

Rodgers was allowed to get back on the field this week after he passed cognitive and exertion tests, and he also was examined and cleared by team doctor John Gray and an independent neurologist, per NFL guidelines for a player who suffers a head injury.

Rodgers, who earned his first Pro Bowl trip last season, hasn't missed a game in his two-plus years as a starter. Teammates were happy to know Rodgers likely would extend the streak of 38 starts.

"It's good for the team," defensive end Cullen Jenkins said. "He's the leader of our team. He's the leader on offense."

The Packers, who have been hit hard by injuries early this season, might be without some other key players. Linebacker Clay Matthews (hamstring) and right tackle Mark Tauscher (shoulder) are doubtful, and defensive ends Ryan Pickett (ankle) and Mike Neal (shoulder) are questionable. Tight end Jermichael Finley (knee) and linebacker Brandon Chillar (shoulder) won't play.

Matthews, who has a league-high 8.5 sacks, hasn't been ruled out for Sunday's game despite not practicing this week.

"We'll give him all of the way up to game time to see if he can go," McCarthy said. "He's making progress. He's close."

The Packers placed linebacker Nick Barnett on injured reserve. Barnett, a starter with Green Bay since his rookie year in 2003, underwent wrist surgery Wednesday.

Finley, a top playmaker on offense, is out indefinitely after undergoing surgery Tuesday for a torn meniscus he suffered Sunday.

Backup tight end Donald Lee also went out of that game with a chest injury. He was expected to miss one to two weeks, but Lee practiced the last two days and is probable for Sunday's game.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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