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Aaron Rodgers throws touchdown pass to Randall Cobb to win game (GIF)

The two players who returned for Green Bay in Week 17 after missing several weeks because of injuries combined for the touchdown that sent the Packers to the playoffs.

The Packers were down 28-27 to the Chicago Bears with the NFC North on the line and had a 4th-and-8 from the Bears 48 in the final minute. Aaron Rodgers eluded the rush, rolled to his left, and found Randall Cobb wide open for a 48-yard touchdown pass to give the Packers a 33-28 lead.

Though they missed the 2-point conversion attempt, the Packers held strong and intercepted Jay Cutler on the final play of the game to win it 33-28 and receive a berth into the playoffs.

Rodgers finished 25-of-39 for 318 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. Cobb, who returned from a fractured leg, caught both of the TDs.

Aaron Rodgers Packers Bears

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Aaron Rodgers to start against Bears

Aaron RodgersThe Green Bay Packers have a simple formula for winning the NFC North division this season. If they can beat the Bears in Chicago on Sunday, their 8-7-1 record would be enough to capture a division title after a mediocre season. Good news, Packers fans — Aaron Rodgers will be there to lead the way.

After various reporters noted that Rodgers was practicing with the first team on Thursday morning, Mike McCarthy announced that Rodgers is indeed expected to start against Chicago.

“We are preparing for the Chicago Bears with Aaron Rodgers as our starting quarterback,” McCarthy said, noting that Rodgers has felt good for a few weeks. “It’s time to play football. He just wants to focus on playing football.

There had previously been speculation that Rodgers might shut it down for the season, and that probably would have been the case if the Packers fell out of playoff contention. However, the inability of the Detroit Lions to win important games has set the stage for Green Bay.

Most of the talk around the NFL this week has been about Tony Romo and his bad back, but Rodgers is just as important — if not more important — to his team. The return of No. 12 not only gives the Packers a chance to sneak into the playoffs, it could also make Green Bay a surprise contender in the NFC when the postseason begins. They’ll have to get through the Bears in a tough road environment first.

Report: Aaron Rodgers wanted Packers to protect him to avoid Brett Favre injury comparison

Aaron RodgersAaron Rodgers is growing image-conscious as he recovers from his broken collarbone injury, and he is trying to make sure the Green Bay Packers protect him, according to a report.

Rodgers on Sunday missed his seventh straight game since breaking his collarbone in Week 9 against the Chicago Bears. The Packers have avoided giving a timetable for Rodgers’ recovery. The questions about his status come each week, and each week he has not been medically cleared to play. But, last week, instead of saying that Rodgers wasn’t medically cleared to play, coach Mike McCarthy repeated during a press conference that it was an “organizational decision” to not have Rodgers play. That “organizational decision” line apparently came at Rodgers’ urging.

ESPN’s Chris Mortensen shared the information on “Sunday NFL Countdown.” Here’s what he said via the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

“A CT scan of Aaron Rodgers’ fractured left collarbone still showed extraordinary risk if he returned to the football field today, according to sources,” Mortensen said. “So why the emphasis on organizational decision by Packers’ coach Mike McCarthy on Friday to the point where McCarthy mentioned it eight or nine times by media count? That’s because Rodgers insisted vehemently on a message of organizational decision, sources said, with an emphasis that he is a tough guy. One source says the quarterback’s sensitivity that his injury absence would be compared to Brett Favre’s reputation for toughness was a driving force behind McCarthy’s message, which created a palpable tension between the coach and the quarterback. And sources say McCarthy clearly understood Dr. Patrick McKenzie’s unwillingness to give Rodgers medical clearance and there was no real organizational decision about it. It was medical.”

If this is true, I understand Rodgers’ concern about how he is perceived in terms of toughness. And why isn’t it enough for McCarthy to say Rodgers hasn’t been medically cleared? Because there have been plenty of players who come back early from injuries regardless of what doctors have told them. If Rodgers wanted the team to say it’s an organizational decision not to have him play, they should comply. Why? They need to do the right thing and protect their top player. Do they really want him coming back early and re-breaking the bone? Do they want to have a Rob Gronkowski forearm situation? Or do they want him to fully heal so he can continue being a great QB for them for the next decade? This shouldn’t be an issue, and nobody should question Rodgers’ toughness. This is an injury that needs time to heal and should not be rushed.

Packers could shut Aaron Rodgers down for season

Aaron Rodgers mustache

The Green Bay Packers are considering shutting Aaron Rodgers down for the season to let him fully recover from his broken collarbone, according to a report.

Rodgers broke his collarbone in Week 9 against the Chicago Bears. Initial reports said he might miss three weeks, but Week 14 was later said to be the target date for his return. However, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport says Rodgers would “be lucky” to be ready for the team’s game on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons.

Because the Packers have slipped to 5-6-1 with Rodgers out, they might decide to shut him down for the rest of the season to let him fully heal from the injury. The thinking is that if the playoffs are out of the question, there’s no sense in rushing him back and risking a worse injury.

Scott Tolzien and Matt Flynn have proved to be poor options as backups for the Packers, who are third in the NFC North. Green Bay has gone 0-4-1 since Rodgers got hurt, including the Monday night game where he was injured in the first quarter. It didn’t help that backup Seneca Wallace was knocked out for the season a week later with a groin injury.

Aaron Rodgers killing the mustache game

Aaron Rodgers mustache

Aaron Rodgers is taking the mustache game to the next level.

The Green Bay Packers quarterback may be out with a broken collarbone, but he is not forgotten on the sidelines of the team’s games. FOX showed shots of Rodgers on the sidelines during the Packers’ 26-26 tie with the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, and the quarterback’s ‘stache stood out immediately.

Would you look at that beauty? He’s got full range on that mustache. Coverage from nose to upper lip. Not a spot missing.

As far as we can tell, Rodgers began growing the ‘stache in the preseason and has kept it going. Now it’s just a full thick nest that would make Mike Ditka jealous. Give this guy a pair of aviators and he’d be accepted into a police academy immediately, no questions asked.

Of course, despite our praise of his ‘stache, he’s been catching a lot of crap for it. Many are saying it makes him look like a pedophile:

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Aaron Rodgers could reportedly miss around three weeks with shoulder injury

Aaron-Rodgers-PackersGreen Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is expected to miss some time as a result of the shoulder injury he suffered when he was sacked in the first quarter on Monday night. On Tuesday, a source reportedly told ESPN’s Ed Werder that the extent of Rodgers’ injury “doesn’t look good.”

Chicago Bears sideline reporter Zach Zaidman first reported during the third quarter that Rodgers had fractured his collarbone.

Adam Schefter later added that initial tests showed a small fracture in Rodgers’ collarbone that could cause Rodgers to miss around three weeks. Rodgers is scheduled to undergo more tests on Tuesday, as there was too much swelling in the area on Monday to perform an MRI.

Since the injury appeared to be to Rodgers’ non-throwing shoulder, we knew it had to have been something serious when he was ruled out for the game. Obviously, the loss comes at a horrible time for the Packers. They are now in a three-way tie for first place in the NFC North with the Bears and Detroit Lions. Jay Cutler could return as early as next week, so Chicago should soon receive a boost. Detroit came away with a huge win over the Dallas Cowboys before their bye.

There has already been speculation that Green Bay could look to sign Matt Flynn, who was released by the Buffalo Bills on Monday. Either way, Packers fans can’t feel good about their chances over the next three weeks with the prospect of guys like Seneca Wallace and Flynn under center. If Rodgers misses more than three weeks, Green Bay could fall out of the playoff hunt.

Aaron Rodgers suffers left shoulder injury on sack play (GIF)

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers left Monday night’s game with the Chicago Bears after suffering a left shoulder injury on the team’s opening drive.

Rodgers was sacked by Shea McClellin on a 3rd-and-9 from the Bears’ 9-yard line. He landed on his left shoulder when he hit the ground and was examined by a trainer on the bench.

aaron-rodgers-shoulder-examined

Rodgers eventually headed to the locker room for further examination and was termed questionable to return. In the second quarter, it was announced that Rodgers was out for the game. He likely has a left shoulder and/or collarbone injury.

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