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Aaron Rodgers out for Packers' Week 16 game against Steelers

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

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

Hope will have to spring eternal next week. The Packers have ruled out Aaron Rodgers yet again, this time announcing that Rodgers won't play Sunday in Week 16 against the Steelers.

"As we do every week, a lot of conversation about Aaron," head coach Mike McCarthy said Friday. "As an organization we are not ready for him to play. That's where we are."

There was lots of hope leading up to this week that Rodgers could return with the Packers creeping right back into the playoff conversation. But Rodgers, who suffered a fractured collarbone against the Bears earlier in the season, is still not medically cleared.

"He's not medically cleared, that's still the case today," McCarthy said. "As an organization we don't believe it's the right time for him to play."

It will be Matt Flynn who once again gets the starting nod. Flynn is coming off an incredible half against the Cowboys last week, when he tossed four touchdowns to help pull off one of the more amazing comebacks we've seen in a long while.

"We're excited about playing the Pittsburgh Steelers," McCarthy said. "Matt Flynn's our starter."

McCarthy declined to elaborate on who made the final call about Rodgers (citing "as an organization") and, when asked about how Rodgers' health factors into the Packers being in the playoff hunt, made it very clear

"Until we feel good about where Aaron is medically, that will not be part of the second circumstance," McCarthy said.

It was hard to tell if McCarthy was completely on board with the decision. Obviously Rodgers is not, though he doesn't have much say in the matter.

"I think Aaron clearly wants to play. He's a very competitive man," McCarthy said. "He understands how the organization feels. Everything was laid out on the table. And the organization is not ready for him to play."

Asked if he agrees with the decision, McCarthy said "absolutely."

 
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