Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers may have suffered the most crippling injury of his NFL career in Week 9, but his comments ahead of Week 12's showdown with the Minnesota Vikings will certainly give Cheeseheads a reason to smile amid the Packers' three-game losing streak.
Rodgers, who suffered a broken collarbone in his left (non-throwing) shoulder on Nov. 4, has missed the last two games, equaling his career total coming into 2013.
But on Monday, the franchise cornerstone spoke about the injury on "Packers Live with Larry McCarren" and offered some encouraging remarks, per The Journal Sentinel's Tom Silverstein:
I'm going to be back when I'm ready, when there's a very low risk of reinjuring that. Obviously, if you have another blow like I had, displacement of the collarbone could be three to five months of rehab. So, that's not what we want. At the same time, we're 5-5. We might need a little jolt here at some point.
According to Packers.com's Mike Spofford, Rodgers added on Wednesday that he would have to return to practice by Friday in order to suit up in Week 12 and by Tuesday if he's to be ready for Week 13's Thanksgiving matchup at Detroit.
Neither seems likely at this point, but a date to keep in mind is Dec. 8, when Green Bay is scheduled to host the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday Night Football. By Week 14, Rodgers will have had nearly five full weeks to recover. Not to mention the Packers could still be sitting on just five wins and in desperate need of that "jolt" Rodgers talked about.
Although Rodgers admits this is a challenging injury and recovery that can't be rushed given the severity and risk of re-injury, his comments suggest that he's confident he'll return to full strength in 2013.
Regardless of rust or how well backup Scott Tolzien is playing, the keys to the Green Bay offense are Rodgers' whenever he asks for them.
When do you predict Rodgers will return?
The Packers' favorable schedule down the stretch is also encouraging, as Detroit and Chicago are the only upcoming opponents currently sporting winning records. In December, Green Bay will host 2-8 Atlanta and 4-6 Pittsburgh and play 5-5 Dallas and 6-4 Chicago on the road.
All four are winnable games, and with Rodgers under center, the Packers could easily sweep the final month of the year in a last-minute playoff push.
While there's no doubt that these are dark times for Packers fans everywhere, Green and Gold Nation can feel good knowing that Rodgers is better off now than he was two weeks ago and that the former MVP will likely have several opportunities down the stretch to provide the Packers with the "jolt" they so desperately need.
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