Will He Or Won't He?Posted:Dec 19th, 2013 8:47 pm
This particular blog entry will have a very short shelf life. In less than 24 hours we'll know whether Aaron Rodgers will return Sunday to face the Steelers, in what the Packers are calling a semifinal playoff game in their hunt for the NFC North title.
By now you know where each side is coming from. Rodgers has yet to be cleared medically, and took second team reps in practice for a second straight day. The biggest Thursday surprise came from the mouth of Mike McCarthy: "He looks sharp...he looks ready to play." Rodgers has echoed those sentiments.
But the decision on when the $110 million man returns is not theirs to make. It rests with team doctor Pat McKenzie and GM Ted Thompson, both of whom went to the Rush Limbaugh school of conservatism (not politically, but in how they go about their business).
The hunch here is that Rodgers misses another week and the organization hopes that Matt Flynn, along with his suddenly playoff-relevant teammates can dispatch of the Steelers, a proud franchise that played wretched football early, but has shown signs of life in recent weeks.
The Pack will also be without premier run-stopper Johnny Jolly, putting more pressure on Dom Capers' troubling unit, which will have its hands full with rookie back LeVeon Bell.
But for the next day there will be much teeth-gnashing. Will he or won't he? Rodgers has spoken about risk-reward in recent days, basically saying to McKenzie and Thompson, 'look, you know I'm not 100% and I know I'm not 100%, but let's roll the dice and try to win a division title.' It's a nice stand to take and it helps the fans understand that he wants more than anything to be out there. But the truth is, the Packers won't put him out there if they think there's a chance he could re-injure the collarbone and risk a long rehabilitation.
We all want to see #12 out there. But I think the next time we see him on the football field will be at Soldier Field.
Hopefully, that game will mean something.