Published: Thu, December 14, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Aaron Rodgers says he's not coming back to save the Packers

Aaron Rodgers says he's not coming back to save the Packers

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is returning to the field on Sunday against the 9-4 Carolina Panthers, but he doesn't want to be looked at as a knight in shining armor.

News that the two-time NFL MVP was cleared medically to come back from a collarbone injury finally arrived Tuesday night, coming a bit later than coach Mike McCarthy hoped - but well worth the wait for the playoff-hopeful Packers.

If the discussion lasted all day Tuesday, it's logical to assume there were dissenting opinions expressed. If Stewart gets going early, that would give Cam Newton a better chance to break a key play later, much like he did against Minnesota. It's important to check back on Thursday and Friday as more news comes in.

At the time, the Packers warned that the injury could have ended Rodgers' season. Can he do permanent damage to the collarbone by re-injuring it?

But Rodgers' return gives an emotional boost to a locker room that has already drawn confidence from two straight overtime victories. Knowing how McKenzie operates, I don't think he would allow Rodgers to return if it wasn't safe.

The running back duo of Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams will be instrumental in achieving this, as they've helped carry the Packers in the absence of Rodgers. Nobis starred on both sides of the line at the University of Texas and was the first player drafted by Atlanta in 1966 before spending 11 seasons with the team.

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Rodgers isn't anxious about another shoulder landing, despite having broken his collarbone twice, and said he's not rushing his recovery.

First, Rodgers could re-injure the shoulder and do permanent damage, shortening a career that should have many more good years.

Rodgers also missed seven full games in 2013 when he broke his left collarbone. Some armchair doctors have said another injury would cause long-term problems for that reason while others said he would be as good as ever after another rehabilitation period.

But Rodgers also cautioned a jacked-up fan base by saying, "I'm not coming back to save this team, I'm coming back to play quarterback the way I know how to play it, Hopefully, we all raise the level of our play collectively and find a way to win these three games. I'm cleared." Still, Rodgers insisted he won't change his style of play, risk or no risk. "Obviously, I think there's an expectation of the way I play on Sunday and how I'm going to play". At 7-6, Green Bay nearly certainly has to win out.

However, all five of the Packers' recent defeats have come against teams that now sport winning records. The Panthers picked up a 37-29 win as 2.5-point underdogs in Green Bay's last visit in 2015, and has won and covered in two of their past three home matchups with the Packers.

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