Posted December 26, 2013

Aaron Rodgers to start for the Packers on Sunday

Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers has found other ways to occupy his time since breaking his collarbone. (Tim Sharp/AP)

Aaron Rodgers has found other ways to occupy his time since breaking his collarbone. (Tim Sharp/AP)

On Thursday, Packers fans got a nice post-Christmas present. FOX Sports Wisconsin’s Paul Imig reported that Rodgers will indeed start on Sunday for the first time since breaking his collarbone against the Chicago Bears on Nov. 4. Rodgers took all first-team snaps during practice open to the media for the first time since his injury — something that’s usually reserved for the starter this late in the week. ESPN’s Rob Demovsky reported that Rodgers was the first-team quarterback for all drills but 11-on-11s, which the media was not allowed to see. Reports later indicated that Rodgers did indeed take the helm for all practice drills.

Without Rodgers, the Green Bay Packers are 2-5-1. Rodgers has been at practice for several weeks since the injury, and getting more reps as time goes on, but head coach Mike McCarthy has been tight-lipped about Rodgers’ return timeline. There’s no time like the present, as the 7-7-1 Packers have to beat the 8-7 Bears at Soldier Field in the regular-season finale if they want to win the NFC North.

And then, at his post-practice presser, McCarthy announced the good news.

“We’re preparing for the Chicago Bears with Aaron Rodgers as our starting quarterback,” McCarthy said. “Our goal coming into this week was to have this announcement Tuesday for our team meeting, but that did not happen. All the evaluation and communication was not concluded at that point. So, we waited to tell the team until today. We felt, obviously, that the first people who needed to know about it was our football team.”

Rodgers said that it was “exciting to be back after a long layoff and a tough period. It’s exciting to be back in the mix with the guys.”

On Tuesday, Rodgers said that his recovery has been slower than anyone anticipated.

“I’m feeling better and not thinking about my injury at all,” Rodgers said on his weekly ESPN Wisconsin radio show. “I think ultimately it comes down to, it’s big on the medical side. Is the bone healed or is there a large risk of going back out there that’s too great, that the organization would not want to put me out there?

“Obviously I want to be out there. I know what’s at stake. This is an important week for us. We’re somehow back in this position to be able to get into the playoffs. What a better way to do that than against the Chicago Bears?”

McCarthy said the same day that he and general manager Ted Thompson have been monitoring the situation closely.

“I think No. 1 for the football team and also Aaron Rodgers, I think it’s important for us to make a quicker decision. This has obviously been frustrating and stressful for Aaron, rightfully so, but also our football team. I want them to know who the quarterback’s going to be.”

Rodgers told Jason Wilde during the show that he’s not concerned about being rusty despite missing seven full games.

“I’ve been focusing on my conditioning a lot, doing some extra conditioning, making sure my wind is good. But it’s about taking the reps in practice and finding that timing and rhythm. I’ve played a lot of football, so I don’t think there’s a major hurdle to get over and to get back and be effective. To me it’s always come down to preparation. Do I feel confident in the plan, confident in my ability to execute the plan? If I do, then I expect to play well on Sunday.”

Since he became the Packers’ starter in 2008, Rodgers had only missed one game due to injury, when he suffered a concussion in 2010.

Backup Matt Flynn has completed 124 passes in 200 attempts for 1,392 yards and eight touchdowns, and has been intercepted five times in Rodgers’ place this season.

38 comments
ElvisHitler
ElvisHitler

LMAO Da Bearss gonna cripple his fragile a**

Richard--Ramirez
Richard--Ramirez

This is what the Bears wanted, not smart for McCarthy & Co.

ImmaFubared
ImmaFubared

Does it matter. Neither team has anywhere near the talent of the leading teams in the NFC and will be toasted in the first round of the playoffs. The Bears D went downhill this year but the Packers D has been non existant. 

psychsports
psychsports

The Packers have announced that Aaron Rodgers will return this Sunday to face the Chicago Bears after missing nine weeks with a broken left collarbone.The showdown between the Packers and the Bears will determine the NFC North Division Champion.

The discussion of whether or not Rodgers should return at all this season given the risks he faces has been intensely debated.  Rodgers has experienced and will experience both physical and emotional hurdles when he takes the field on Sunday.

But for the entire Packer nation and Rodgers both the emotional and practical effects of his loss are about to come to an end.

http://psychologyofsports.com/2013/12/27/aaron-rodgers-returns-the-emotional-nightmare-is-over-for-all/

ImmaFubared
ImmaFubared

Good luck. Better put your woolies on were talkin outside in frigic chi town and bitter weather on the way. Hope they don't throw him to the ground on that bad shoulder. Ya think? 

ragnarsworld
ragnarsworld

Why announce that Rodgers is playing on Thursday?  Wouldn't it be better if the coach didn't tell anyone and the first time we see Rodgers in uniform is when he runs out of the tunnel before the game?  Is there some NFL rule that says you have to announce who is starting?

wlewisiii
wlewisiii

Oy, McIncompetent is feeling desperate. I thought he wouldn't risk his meal ticket any more this season. He must have decided who he'll be able to scapegoat for his failures. 


Doesn't matter. Even if they do beat da Bears (best in the NFC Cen^h^h^hNorth right now (alas) they'll one and out with all their other weaknesses. 

friendly--neighborhood--scrawler
friendly--neighborhood--scrawler

Rodgers Karma is a B%$ch isn't it... lol

thats what happens when you take up for Braun and refuse to pay off your bets... You may want to forget but Karma doesn't...


hopefully you make it through that game without a 300lb lineman driving that shoulder into  the ground... or maybe not...

PhillyPenn
PhillyPenn

Green Bay is only giving 3 points in this game, that's a curious line.  I think I like the Bears straight up in this game.  Just sayin.

MatthieuMiquet
MatthieuMiquet

Risky bet in term of long-range planning...The Packers should win this game with or without Rodgers.

Wisconsin Death Trip
Wisconsin Death Trip

"Rodgers ready to return"


Okaaaay, BUT is his offensive line ready for his return?

KeysSteven
KeysSteven

Bad call, Mike & Ted.


Bringing back a franchise QB, in late December, at Soldier Field, coming off injury that’s kept him out seven weeks, in a condition that could easily rupture with next slam-tackle, to perpetuate a .500 season that was iffy long before the star went down, with a capable back-up ready to go in Flynn, is short-sighted and a move that reeks of irresolutneness.


Like Rodgers, “(I’m) not concerned about (his) being rusty,” he’s a super QB.  For him it’s like riding a bicycle.  It’s his physicality & motion that’s a concern.  He should be getting non-to-light contact drills for 2-3 weeks before re-entering any kind of real fray.  The chance he may avoid re-injury in Illinois doesn’t change that fact.  Aaron wants to play?  So did RG3 last September.


And might’ve led with paragraph three (“We’re”), Doug.

SPHeroid
SPHeroid

@ElvisHitler 

Enjoy your January as the Packers advance in the playoffs, while the Bears golf......

BosephHeyden
BosephHeyden

@Richard--RamirezHuh?  Why would the Bears want a quarterback that can, and has, pick their pass defense apart to go along with having to worry about the non-existent pass defense worries?

ImmaFubared
ImmaFubared

@MatthieuMiquet based on what the play of that horrid defense? I had this team at 6-10 missing playoffs. At least I will be right on one of those assumptions. 

ImmaFubared
ImmaFubared

@Wisconsin Death Trip What offensive line? The vaunted pass rush of the packers will save them, if not that steel curtain safety play, if not the corners will lock it up, and Oh, Santa is coming. 

ragnarsworld
ragnarsworld

@KeysStevenI don't think Flynn is all that capable.  His record outside of one game two years ago is spotty at best.

titletown_USA
titletown_USA

@KeysSteven I'm betting the Packer's medical staff, front office and coaches know a bit more about Rodger's condition, the likelihood of a repeat (or worse) injury, and football in general than you do, genius. He's been held out until now because they didn't think he was ready/risk of re-injury was too great. Now they do not feel that same way. Head on back to the coach with the bag of B-B-Q chips now, son.

Snow_Veil
Snow_Veil

@KeysSteven 


The season was "iffy long before the star went down?"


It's enough to make one wonder if you actually watch football. The packers were 5-2 at the time of the injury, with the first quality running game they've had in Rodgers tenure emerging with Eddie Lacy. Their two losses were to San Fran on the road by less than a touchdown, a team everyone knew was very good, and Cinci on the road by less than a touchdown, a team that turned out to be very good.

John64
John64

@KeysSteven You're comparing RG3's injury to Rodgers' broken collarbone? Duh. 

This is an absolutely great call by the Packers. It's a WIN NOW league. You don't save players for next season. If he's good to go then he's gonna go. Period. 

And the Packers are going to crush the Bears too.  Book it.


Wisconsin Death Trip
Wisconsin Death Trip

@KeysSteven I think he's been working on his "muscle memory" the past few weeks, and I'm only around 20% concerned. I'm more worried about his offensive line.

KPBARRY5
KPBARRY5

@KeysSteven your an idiot.  The playoffs start this week, whats there to save him for?  Training camp in July?  IF he would happen to re-injure it, he has 8 months to rehab it and be ready for the start of next season.  Comparing a collarbone injury to a torn ACL/MCL is plain stupid.  People like you are why americas youth are all "everyone needs a trophy for participating".  We saw what happened in 2010, a hot Aaron Rodgers in Dec/Jan can take us anywhere

KeysSteven
KeysSteven

@titletown_USA @KeysSteven   So, you won't be giving any opinions on managment calls yourseIf in future articles?  How compliant of you.


I'm certain of it, the "Packers...know (a lot) more about (AR's) condition," than do I.  But as to "likelihood of a repeat," unless you're suggesting GB has an 'understanding' with the Bears ("Maybe no"), what happens in-game is anybody's guess, prognosticators notwithstanding.  No expertise in that area, Mr (Ms?). Boastful.


You needn't shine Ted's boots.  The brass must be "a bit" nervous themselves on this call, truth be told.  Lots of opinions.

luvfoozball
luvfoozball

@Snow_Veil @KeysSteven Who the f cares if the Pukers were 5 - 2? The Lions were 6 - 3 once upon a time and they barfed all over their season. So did the Pukers by not have a competent backup.

KeysSteven
KeysSteven

@Snow_Veil @KeysSteven I "wonder if (YOU) actually watch football, SV?  You didn't finish the story.  A "5-2" start for an Rodgers' led Packers club, that includes losses against two stout opponents (SF / CIN) and the Ws coming against BAL, DET, MIN, DC and CLE...is arguably "iffy."  But a real football fan knows as much. 

KeysSteven
KeysSteven

@John64 @KeysSteven  "(C)omparing RG3's injury?"  "Duh," the decision-making, Adolf.  He was a moron too, among other things.

KeysSteven
KeysSteven

@KPBARRY5 @KeysSteven  “(You’re) an idiot.” 


And you have a contingency for a 2nd Aaron Rodgers “rehab?”  Great future planning, kid.  You’ll go far…at Little Caesars.


titletown_USA
titletown_USA

@KeysSteven@titletown_USA Every snap in an NFL game has the potential to be a career ending play for every player on the field. "Management" risks the long term health of every player with every play. If your players are healthy, you play them. You are the one arguing it's a "bad call" based on some phantom prognostication. Make up your mind.