The Packers unwrapped the Christmas present to fans a day late but no one's complaining. Head Coach Mike McCarthy announced after practice today that Aaron Rodgers will start the regular season finale against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field with the NFC North title on the line. It was 52 days ago, against the Bears at Lambeau Field, when Rodgers cracked his left collarbone and crumbling beneath Shea McLellen's sack on the game's opening series. He missed the following seven games as the Packer's went 2-4-1 without him but incredibly, at 7-7-1, he has a chance to lead the team into the playoffs for a 4th straight season.
McCarthy said they had hoped to make the decision public on Tuesday but the final round of organizational discussions were still taking place. The team had Christmas off and the head coach told the team at the 8:00 AM meeting. Rodgers took some number one reps at practice during the time the media was allowed to watch and after the workout, McCarthy filled in everyone else.
McCarthy said in the past couple of weeks it was clear to him Rodgers looked ready to play, Aaron felt it was time and that time is now here.
How did Aaron react? Here's his session with reporters in the locker room after practice:
Rodgers may also have an extra weapon back. Randall Cobb did his most extensive work at practice yet and he's hopeful he can come off the injured reserve-desginated to return list by Sunday. He broke his leg against Baltimore on October 13.
Clay Matthews unfortunately, has already been ruled out, and will likely be out for the remainder of the season after re-breaking his right thumb against the Steelers. Eddie Lacy didn't practice with his lingering sprained ankle but McCarthy hoped he would play in Chicago. Brad Jones didn't practice with an ankle sprain and Ryan Taylor stayed home ill. Mike Neal, Nick Perry, Ryan Pickett and Andrew Quarless were all limited but are expected to go at Soldier Field.