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Aaron Rodgers out; Matt Flynn will start against Steelers

Posted by Vic Ketchman, packers.com editor on December 20, 2013 – 12:56 pm

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GREEN BAY–The Packers officially listed Aaron Rodgers as “out” for Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“Aaron Rodgers has been declared out for the game. As an organization, we feel we are not ready for him to play. He is not medically cleared,” Packers Coach Mike McCarthy said on Friday. “I thought Aaron Rodgers did everything he could possibly do. He did some really good things in practice. This is where we are.

“Matt Flynn is our starter. He’s ready,” McCarthy said. “We feel we can beat Pittsburgh with our football team. I had hoped Aaron’s situation would progress. We have a very good team coming in here on Sunday,” McCarthy added.

Here’s more from McCarthy’s press conference:

On how Rodgers took the news: “He understands where we are. Everything has been explained, but he obviously wants to play. The kid has played with injuries. He’s a tough guy. He’s done everything he possibly could to try to get back on the field.”

On how Rodgers tried to state his case: “I think Aaron clearly wants to play. He’s a very competitive man. He’s done everything he possibly can from his end of it, but he understands how the organization feels. Everything was laid out on the table, and the organization is not ready for him to play.”

On Randall Cobb: “Looks good. Curious to see how he feels tomorrow. I felt Randall made progress this week. It was good for him to get three days of practice in.”

Cobb is not yet on the active roster. A spot would have to be cleared for him on the 53 if he were to be activated for Sunday’s game. McCarthy did not say whether Cobb would be activated or not.

As for possibly making space on the roster, McCarthy said on Thursday that DE Johnny Jolly’s neck/shoulder injury is “significant,” meaning he would be a candidate for injured reserve. McCarthy also announced on Friday that TE Brandon Bostick’s foot injury will require season-ending surgery.

DE C.J. Wilson returned to practice this week after missing the last three games with an ankle injury. He was limited in practice all week and is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game.

After McCarthy’s press conference, WR Jordy Nelson and G T.J. Lang spoke with reporters and gave their reactions:

“We had a feel for it throughout the week, but we didn’t know for sure,” Nelson said. “I don’t think anyone in this locker room is surprised.

“They’re going to be smart, especially with the type of player he is and what he means to this organization. They’re doing the right thing. We’ll just have to continue to try to go out and play good football, win some more games so we can keep the season alive and give him another week to get healthy and come back.”

Lang added that when Rodgers was taking more scout-team than first-team reps in Wednesday’s practice, the players pretty much figured out where things were headed.

“From that day on, we’re not sitting here playing a guessing game,” Lang said. “We put our trust in Matt, stop focusing on that and move forward.”

The Packers did practice outside in the wind and snow for their team periods on Friday. During practice, the weather resembled what forecasts are calling for on Sunday in Green Bay.

“Everybody has played in snow before,” Lang said. “Today was cold and windy, so it’s difficult, but I don’t think it’s a shock to anybody. For us to go out there today and try to get used to it, that should help us if we get the same conditions on Sunday.”


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Aaron Rodgers yet to be cleared by Packers medical staff

Posted by Vic Ketchman, packers.com editor on December 18, 2013 – 1:09 pm

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GREEN BAY–Aaron Rodgers still hasn’t been cleared medically to play in this Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“Aaron Rodgers update. He’s doing better. He’s still not been cleared by the medical staff. He threw the ball extremely well. He looked sharp. He’s getting better,” Packers Coach Mike McCarthy said on Wednesday following practice.

Rodgers reportedly remains a limited participant and Matt Flynn continues to be the team’s stated starting quarterback.

“We’re going to take a similar process to last week,” McCarthy said of Rodgers, which would likely mean a decision on Rodgers’ availability will be announced on Friday.

Randall Cobb?

“Randall Cobb looked good. It was good to have him out there,” McCarthy said.

Click here for Packers.com’s full report.

 


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McCarthy mulling options if Dietrich-Smith can’t play

Posted by Mike Spofford on December 5, 2013 – 4:49 pm

Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy said on Thursday that he’s hopeful C Evan Dietrich-Smith can return to practice in some capacity on Friday, but he hasn’t made a final decision on the starting offensive line should Dietrich-Smith not be able to play.

C Evan Dietrich-Smith

C Evan Dietrich-Smith

Dietrich-Smith injured an ankle in practice on Wednesday and sat out Thursday. If he can’t play, he’d be replaced by RG T.J. Lang at center, the same move made in Detroit last week when Dietrich-Smith went down with a knee injury.

One of three other players would fill in from there. One option would be for ro0kie Lane Taylor to take Lang’s spot at RG. Another would be for Don Barclay to slide over from RT to RG, with Derek Sherrod starting at RT. Or Marshall Newhouse could start at either RG or RT, with Barclay playing the other spot.

“The opportunity needs to be earned and performance will drive it,” McCarthy said.

The Packers got no further clarity on QB Aaron Rodgers’ availability for Sunday. He practiced in pads and “made a little progress,” according to McCarthy, but there was nothing more to report.

“He’s a step closer, but how far away, time will answer that question,” McCarthy said.

In other news, CB Tramon Williams acknowledged that he was fined by the league for the contact he made with an official in the end zone in Detroit last Thursday. Williams said the fine was “in the 20s,” meaning thousands of dollars, but he maintained there was no intent behind the contact and that he didn’t know in the heat of the moment it was an official whose arm he swiped away.

“I’ll appeal,” he said. “Hopefully they give me some money back.”


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McCarthy rules out Rodgers, will start Flynn, addresses Sitton comments

Posted by Mike Spofford on November 27, 2013 – 12:43 pm

Head Coach Mike McCarthy officially ruled out QB Aaron Rodgers on the injury report for Thursday’s game in Detroit and declared Matt Flynn the starting QB.

“Matt Flynn will be the starter tomorrow,” McCarthy said following the team’s practice on Wednesday. “He’s taken all the starter reps this week, and he’s ready to go.

“We’re ready. We’ve got a full game plan in.”

As for G Josh Sitton’s disparaging comments about Detroit’s defensive line and coaching staff, which he made on a radio show Tuesday, McCarthy addressed them briefly.

“I’ll say this about Josh Sitton’s comments. They definitely don’t reflect how we go about our business here,” McCarthy said. “It was discussed with the football team.”

 


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Aaron Rodgers in uniform, doing drills at practice Tuesday

Posted by Mike Spofford on November 26, 2013 – 12:03 pm

QB Aaron Rodgers

QB Aaron Rodgers

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers was wearing his customary red No. 12 practice jersey and going through drills during the portion of Tuesday’s practice that was open to the media.

Practicing inside the Don Hutson Center, Rodgers was seen working on C-QB exchanges, executing footwork and dropback drills, and throwing short passes to receivers during position drills, along with backups QBs Matt Flynn and Scott Tolzien. It’s his first action on the practice field since breaking his collarbone on Nov. 4.

On Monday, Head Coach Mike McCarthy categorized Rodgers’ chances of playing on Thursday in Detroit as “slim to none,” adding that Rodgers would have to practice in order to play.

Packers.com has updated this story with a full report.


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Barclay or Newhouse will play RT; Rodgers officially ruled out; Finley has surgery

Posted by Mike Spofford on November 15, 2013 – 1:34 pm

The Packers’ starting right tackle could be Don Barclay or Marshall Newhouse on Sunday, as Barclay missed his third straight day of practice on Friday with a knee injury but continues to improve and still might play against the Giants.

T Marshall Newhouse

T Marshall Newhouse

“Don’s getting better,” Head Coach Mike McCarthy said. “He’s improving each day throughout the week. We’ll see if he’ll be available. We’ve got Marshall ready to play. He took the reps this week. Don will be close.”

Barclay is officially listed as questionable. C Evan Dietrich-Smith (knee) sat out practice on Friday as a precaution but is probable, so it appears one change up front would be the most facing the starting offensive line this week.

Barclay is in just his second season, and often with a young player, McCarthy is reluctant to have that player play if he doesn’t get to practice at all during the week. But he’s making a bit of an exception this week with Barclay, who has engendered confidence from the coaching staff by all of his off-the-field preparation.

“He’s very conscientious,” McCarthy said. “He’s on top of it. He’s here round the clock trying to get healthy. He hasn’t missed a meeting, he’s in the walk-throughs in the gymnasium and so forth. So I’d have no problem playing Don.”

QB Aaron Rodgers was officially ruled out on Friday for the second straight week with his broken collarbone, and McCarthy did not have an update on when he could potentially return to action. The team is still in wait-and-see mode.

“We’ll see how he is,” McCarthy said. “He’s on top of every inch of his rehab and he feels better. He’s definitely made a big improvement from last week to this week, but I don’t have a plan.”

Elsewhere on the injury report, LB Mike Neal (abdomen) and DE Johnny Jolly (groin) both returned to practice on Friday and are listed as probable, along with DE Ryan Pickett (knee).

CB Sam Shields sat out practice on Friday to rest a tender hamstring, but he is also probable.

LB Nick Perry (foot/ankle) is doubtful, while fellow outside LB Andy Mulumba (ankle) is questionable. CB Casey Hayward (hamstring) has been ruled out and will be out multiple weeks.

In other injury news, TE Jermichael Finley had surgery on his neck on Thursday in Pittsburgh and will be returning to Green Bay soon.

“I’m looking forward to hearing from Jermichael and seeing him,” McCarthy said. “My understanding is through our medical staff that it was a successful surgery.”


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T.J. Lang returns to practice, has chance to play

Posted by Mike Spofford on November 8, 2013 – 1:51 pm

The Packers might be fully healthy on the offensive line this week after all.

RG T.J. Lang

RG T.J. Lang

RG T.J. Lang, who missed the second half of Monday night’s game with a concussion, said he was medically cleared for non-contact work and returned to practice on Friday on a limited basis. He said he still had another test to take to get 100 percent clearance, so a final decision on his status would be coming over the weekend.

He’s officially listed as questionable on the injury report.

“I feel pretty good,” Lang said. “Each day this week I’ve slowly gotten a little better. I don’t know about my chances Sunday.

“We have to make sure I’m 100 percent before I step on the field. The decision might come tomorrow or it might come Sunday, but I always have to prepare like I’m going to play. I don’t like missing time. There’s still a chance I can be out there.”

If Lang can play on Sunday, the starting offensive line would remain intact. In his absence on Monday night, RT Don Barclay slid over to take Lang’s guard spot, and Marshall Newhouse came off the bench to play right tackle.

“We’ll visit with him tomorrow,” Mike McCarthy said. “I don’t take any chances when it comes to those types of things. He felt all along that he was going to be ready to play, but we’ll check him again in the morning.”

Having the starting offensive line together should help backup QB Seneca Wallace, who will be making his first start in place of QB Aaron Rodgers. McCarthy officially ruled Rodgers out on the injury report Friday.

McCarthy emphasized, however, that the game shouldn’t hinge on the change at QB, and that’s the message he has delivered to his team.

“No disrespect to Aaron, and he knows this too … but you get to the point where it’s about your football team,” McCarthy said. “We’re trying to accomplish something special as a team. Now, special is winning on Sunday, because that’s all that really matters, and that’s what it’s all about.

“This is a long journey. We’re only halfway through the season. But this is a great opportunity for everybody on our football team to step up and be successful. We missed that opportunity Monday night.”

To McCarthy, the week hasn’t been about making drastic changes but rather proper adjustments.

“We’re not going to try to do things we’re not capable of doing,” he said. “We’re not going to throw things against the wall. You’re going to recognize our offense, you’re going to recognize our defense and you’re going to recognize how we play on special teams. Everything we’ve done this week, like we do every week, is to go win the game. We really have moved past playing without Aaron.”


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QB Aaron Rodgers has fractured clavicle; Packers in ‘week-to-week mindset’

Posted by Duke Bobber on November 5, 2013 – 5:04 pm

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The Packers are in a “week-to-week mindset” with QB Aaron Rodgers’ injury, according to Head Coach Mike McCarthy in a Tuesday afternoon press conference. Rodgers suffered a fracture to the clavicle in the first series of the game when his left shoulder was driven into the ground on a sack by Bears DE Shea McClellin.

McCarthy said the doctors felt much better about the situation on Tuesday, after gathering more information on the injury.

In Rodgers’ potential absence, Seneca Wallace figures to be the starter heading into Sunday’s Week 10 contest with the Philadelphia Eagles at Lambeau Field.

“We’re preparing Seneca Wallace and getting him ready to be the starter,” McCarthy said. “I have all the confidence in the world in Seneca.”

“This is a great opportunity for our football team to show its mettle.”

The Packers head back to the practice field Wednesday afternoon.

Click here for Packers.com’s full report from McCarthy’s press conference

 


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LB Nick Perry ‘not ready,’ TE Ryan Taylor returns to practice

Posted by Mike Spofford on October 31, 2013 – 4:01 pm

Packers LB Nick Perry may not be as close to returning to the field as his appearance at practice last Friday might have indicated.

Perry did not participate at all in Thursday’s practice and appears to be having more trouble with his injured foot.

“He’s just not ready,” Head Coach Mike McCarthy said. “Not moving along as everybody would hope.”

In other injury news, TE Ryan Taylor (knee) returned to practice on a limited basis for the first time since injuring his knee against Baltimore three weeks ago. WR James Jones (knee) was also listed as limited, though McCarthy said he was doing mostly rehab. LB Brad Jones (hamstring) was listed as a full participant and could be nearing his return.

There were also no new updates on TE Jermichael Finley, as the team is still gathering information and medical opinions on his neck injury. Finley was at the facility on Wednesday, however, for the team picture. His teammates appreciated another chance to see him, and QB Aaron Rodgers noted it always lifts an injured player’s spirits to come back and be around the team, even if only for a little while.

“There’s a comfort being back in this locker room,” Rodgers said. “He went through a difficult injury, is still dealing with it, but this is an escape I think for a lot of us. To be in this locker room with our brothers, be able to joke around and go to practice, sit in meetings. I’m sure it’s been great for J-Mike to come back in. It’s been great to see him and give him a big hug, and he looks great.”


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Aaron Rodgers up for Never Say Never Moment of Week 6

Posted by Duke Bobber on October 15, 2013 – 10:50 am

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With an injury-depleted receiving corps, the Green Bay Packers managed a narrow 19-17 road win over the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers delivered the decisive blow late in the third quarter, a 64-yard touchdown to Jordy Nelson. The Packers had lost two of their top receivers — James Jones and Randall Cobb — to injury in the game. The Packers’ win ended the Ravens’ 14-game home winning streak against NFC opponents.

The vote is in your hands. Cast your vote for Rodgers on NFL.com.


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