Rodgers will start Sunday vs. Bears
Sep 15, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers runs off the field after the Packers beat the Washington Redskins 38-20 at Lambeau Field. Photo: Image by Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
"He's relieved to play...it's time to play football," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Thursday as he gave the official word about Aaron Rodgers' availability for Sunday against the Chicago Bears after a broken collarbone.
"We're preparing for the Chicago Bears with Aaron Rodgers as our starting quarterback," said McCarthy in a news conference Thursday.
"We waited to tell the team today at 8:05, because we felt the first people that needed to know was our football team. That's the direction we're heading...he's been working the feet, working his condition, gettnig ready for this moment. The moment's here."
That moment involves what has become an NFC North championship game against the Chicago Bears (pregame coverage at 1:00 p.m. Sunday on 620WTMJ and online).
"Excited to be back with the team. I think the focus needs to be on this game, the opportunity we have to win this division...we have a chance against our rivals. What better way to go down there and get some redemption, host a home playoff game?" said Rodgers to ESPN.
"It's right in front of us."
He also spoke about the frustration, but also the perspectives he's found in this layoff.
"It's a great learning experience every time you're faced with some adversity...you take something away from that," explained Rodgers.
"You learn a lot...you find new ways to lead. You realize how important your attitude, your enthusiasm...can be to the guys."
The first report came in from Fox Sports' Paul Imig:
#Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers WILL start Sunday vs. Bears, according to a source.— Paul Imig (@Paulimig) December 26, 2013
Next, when media members were let into practice Thursday morning, Rodgers was getting some first team action in practice and was listed as a full practice participant:
#Packers practice: Rodgers taking first snaps in rotation with Flynn.— Tom Silverstein (@TomSilverstein) December 26, 2013
Then the team made the official announcement.
"We're talking about the best player in football," explained McCarthy about the impact Rodgers will have in the upcoming winner-take-all matchup in Chicago.
Rodgers has missed almost eight full games since being injured in the first series of the Chicago game at Lambeau Field on Nov. 4.