Football

Packers hoping to make quick call on QB Rodgers

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — When the Green Bay Packers take the field for practice on Thursday, they will know whether quarterback Aaron Rodgers is going to start Sunday's NFC North showdown at the Chicago Bears.

There was no word Tuesday on the most scrutinized collarbone in Wisconsin. The team is hoping to make a call early this week. "We've done a scan and we're going through the process of evaluation," Rodgers said on his weekly ESPN radio show. "Probably not what everybody wants to hear, but I can say definitively (on) Thursday - one way or another - it will be a definitive conclusion to this week's unknown. We wanted to give everybody a rest for Christmas, be able to enjoy their Christmas."

Rodgers broke his left collarbone Nov. 4 against the Bears and has missed the last seven games. He started practicing on a limited basis four weeks ago and has been pain-free for about two weeks. He had hoped to get medical clearance for each of the past two games.

The Packers are 2-5-1 since Rodgers' injury, which occurred on the opening series of their 27-20 loss to the Bears. If Rodgers is unable to go, Matt Flynn would start his fifth straight game. The winner of Sunday's game at Soldier Field gets the division title.

Since relieving Scott Tolzien and rallying Green Bay to a 26-26 tie against Minnesota on Nov. 24, Flynn has led the Packers to four fourth-quarter comebacks, including last Sunday's loss to Pittsburgh. The Packers are 2-2 with Flynn as the starter, although the players are clearly hopeful of Rodgers' return.

"Gut feeling? That Christmas is tomorrow," veteran wide receiver James Jones said. "I don't know. I think we will get some good news." Rodgers wouldn't reveal the results of his scan but certainly seemed upbeat during the 45-minute show.

"I'm feeling better and not thinking about my injury at all," Rodgers said. "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?"

Coach Mike McCarthy said Monday that the team wanted to make a decision on Rodgers' status early in the week and let his teammates know the plan. Until now, the Packers have not announced their decision on Rodgers' status each week until Friday, when he has been ruled out.

"I think No. 1 for the football team and also Aaron Rodgers, I think it's important for us to make a quicker decision," McCarthy said. "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 has thrown for 2,218 yards and 15 touchdowns in eight games. The 2011 NFL MVP has completed 66.9 percent of his passes with only four interceptions. "I thought as of last week there'd be a lot more healing that would have gone on," Rodgers said. "Learned a lot about the clavicle and the kind of blood flow or lack of that it gets as being a reason it didn't look as good as we all wanted it last week."

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