McCarthy not sure if Rodgers will start finale

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 23, 2013 at 6:19 pm •  Published: December 23, 2013
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy isn't sure if quarterback Aaron Rodgers will start the team's winner-take-all NFC North matchup with the Chicago Bears on Sunday at Soldier Field.

McCarthy did say Monday that the team wants to make a decision on Rodgers' availability "sooner than later."

Rodgers, who has not played since fracturing his left collarbone against the Bears at Lambeau Field on Nov. 4, has missed the past seven games.

Including the loss to the Bears when Rodgers was injured at the end of the Packers' opening series, the Packers have gone 2-5-1 with three different starters at quarterback.

Throughout the process, the team has emphasized that Rodgers has not been "medically cleared" by team physician Dr. Pat McKenzie.

McCarthy also emphasized last week that the decision not to start Rodgers in Sunday's 38-31 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers was an "organizational decision," suggesting that general manager Ted Thompson, McCarthy and McKenzie made the call.

"(There is) lot of conversation going on with Aaron and obviously Dr. McKenzie and Ted Thompson and I. We're working through that," McCarthy said Monday of the team's plans for Rodgers.

"I do not have anything to announce today. Hopefully we can get the question answered sooner than later. We're still working that."

Asked directly if Rodgers has been medically cleared, McCarthy's answer was different than previous answers to the same question.

"That's all part of the conversation. We're still gathering information today," McCarthy said. "There's testing and things to get done, so we're still working through that. I, personally, haven't talked to Dr. McKenzie yet. He left for surgery. We're working through it."

Last week, McCarthy had also said that Rodgers looked "ready to play" after observing him in practice last Wednesday and Thursday.

While Rodgers had experienced pain in his shoulder after returning to practice in advance of the Dec. 8 game against Atlanta, he was essentially pain-free before the Dec. 15 game against Dallas and before Sunday's game against the Steelers.

"Clearly after seeing Aaron practice for two weeks, this is something Ted Thompson and I need to sit down and we need to assess all the information and to decide if it's time for him to play," McCarthy said.



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