It has been a long season for Green Bay Packers without their starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Tuesday night, however, everything changed as Rodgers announced that he was medically cleared to get back on the field.
The day before, Green Bay head coach Mike McCarthy said that Rodgers was undergoing tests to see if he would be alright to start playing again on a regular basis.
“It is now in the evaluation stage,” McCarthy said late Monday afternoon. “Dr. McKenzie is reviewing it. There’s a number of medical opinions that will be involved in a decision, so at this time, I do not have a clean decision for you or an update. That’s where it stands.”
The Packers currently sit at 3rd place in the NFC North with a 7-6 record. They currently sit behind the Minnesota Vikings who are 10-3 and the Detroit Lions who are also 7-6.
This weekend, the Packers’ game against the Carolina Panthers will be the first game that Rodgers is eligible to play in.
The recovery has been a scheduled one, as Rodgers has impressed his coaching and medical staff in how active he has been following the injury. He has been seen warming up with the team, throwing passes and running multiple times before he was recently cleared.
His teammate, Clay Matthews, even joked that Rodgers looked so impressive during the rehab process that the team never should have put him in the injured reserve.
“Well if he comes back, like I’ve been saying, arguably the best quarterback in the league, back to your team, everyone is going to get better,” Matthews said after Sunday’s overtime win at Cleveland. “Not only him being out there, but also the shot in the arm as we talk about him coming back. Watching him in practice and what he’s been able to do these past couple weeks, getting more and more reps in practice and throwing on the pads, I think it’s a good sign. I’m not going to speak on his behalf, but we sure hope he’s ready and if he is, we’re going to expect the Aaron of old.”
This is great news for the Packers. At the time Rodgers broke his collarbone, it seemed like it could break the season. However, the Packers have done a great job controlling the damage, giving Rodgers a chance to lead this team to the playoffs despite returning in the latter parts of the season.