It’s been almost two months since Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone and was taken out of commission, probably costing the Green Bay Packers clinching a playoff spot by now. However, he’s back to play in the final game of the season against the Chicago Bears in a game that will decide who of the two goes to the postseason by finishing first in the NFC North.
It’s been a long time coming for the Packers, waiting for Mike McCarthy to make the decision on Rodgers and his status heading into the biggest game of the season. The Packers lost that game to the Bears in which Rodgers was injured, and have gone 2-4-1 without him, as Matt Flynn took over in most games. Rodgers wasn’t the only injury problem for Green Bay, but they still managed to build a 5-2 record with him despite the other injuries until the November 4 game against Chicago.
Rodgers has actually been practicing for the last month, but hasn’t been cleared to play by the medical staff. However, only this week he returned to be a full-time participant in practice, and needed for the final medical evaluations about his collarbone to be assessed by the coaching staff and the medical staff before they made their final decision.
Clay Matthews is out again and Eddie Lacy has his ankle problems, although he’ll probably be playing. McCarthy has hinted that Randall Cobb, who hasn’t played since a week 6 game against the Ravens, might also be part of the team that plays against the Bears, who hold the advantage going into the game. It’s a must win for both, but in the rare event of a tie, the Bears have the better record (8-7 to the 7-7-1 for the Packers), and will finish first in the division.
When Chicago beat Green Bay on November 4 at Lambeau Field, it was their first win over the Packers since 2010 and their first road win in the rivalry since 2007. Until Rodgers’ injury game, the Packers had won six straight in the series, including the NFC Championship game of the 2010 season.