Aaron Rodgers feels 'closer' to playing, will practice Wednesday

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

Aaron Rodgers thinks he's 'closer' to returning each week.
Aaron Rodgers thinks he's 'closer' to returning each week.(USATSI)

The Packers season has been an incredible series of twists and turns involving Aaron Rodgers collarbone. They were riding high when Rodgers went down and skidded out for a few weeks but now find themselves in a win-out-and-they're-in scenario with two games left. So ... will Rodgers play?

No one knows yet, including Rodgers, though he said on his weekly radio show with ESPN Milwaukee's Jason J. Wilde that he keeps feeling "closer" to being ready and "more like myself."

"Last week I felt more like myself. I think I was closer," Rodgers said. "It's Tuesday and I haven't practiced this week. So we're sitting here with another four or five days of rest. We'll see how I feel tomorrow. Again, this is maybe not what people want to hear. This is how you have to go about the process. it's a combination of a lot of things and obviously there are a lot of strong opinions about what should happen.

"But the organization will do what's best by me and I at least want to make it a conversation."

By that Rodgers means that he really, really wants to play and he's going to let that be known. He said that last week's "decision was made organizationally" and that he "understood the decision" even though he wasn't "happy" about it. Rodgers also said he had a sense of "sadness" and "frustration" after being told he couldn't play, even though he understands where the medical staff is coming from.

"Sadness, definitely. Sadness and frustration. But not anger," Rodgers said of his feelings. "I have a ton of respect for [the Packers doctor]. I trust him and care about him a lot as a friend and also someone who counsels me when I'm injured. I respect his honesty and that he cares about the guys because he does. Sometimes the guys need to be saved by themselves. I'm still a competitor and I want to be out there."

So this week Rodgers, like last week, will do the same things he's been doing. He'll practice and then he'll push to play on Sunday, knowing that Green Bay's two wins away from the playoffs. But he also understands he's one hit away from putting 2014 at risk as well and that the team's making decisions based on that.

"The decision last week based on the evidence we saw was definitely in my best interests. I'll leave that as my response there," Rodgers said. "I think there has to be on some level the risk-reward conversation. You have to base that off the evidence you see on the scan and also how I'm feeling."

We'll see whether Rodgers is ultimately cleared or not. Two weeks ago I didn't think there was a chance the Packers force him out there. But now? Two wins means a home game in the playoffs. And the playoffs equate to anyone's game. Get in and you've got a shot. Which is why it's becoming more and more possible -- likely even? -- that Rodgers could be cleared in advance of Week 16.

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