Aaron Rodgers has been medically cleared to return to play, after a broken collarbone. Rodgers made this announcement Tuesday night on Instagram. He began practice on Wednesday, for the upcoming game on Sunday where the Packers will play the Carolina Panthers. Rodgers broke his collarbone back in October during a game against the Minnesota Vikings. I am happy for Rodgers’ recovery, but I also think this is fast. I am not a doctor, so I will take their word for it. But I stand behind my previous statement. The team doctors are calling this an “on-schedule” recovery for Rodgers following surgery on October 19. Not only that, but he was running his own drills on the side before he even got back to work.
Clay Matthews had some incredibly positive things to say about Rodgers. Including, “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. 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.”
Prior to his injury, Rodgers was on his way to having one of his best starts. Through the first five weeks, he led the NFL in touchdown passes (13 to be exact) and had thrown just three interceptions. The Packers lost to Minnesota when Brett Hundley took over, after Rodgers’ injury. But Hundley led the team to win three of the next seven games in order to help keep their playoff chances alive. But this isn’t Rodgers’ first collarbone injury. In 2013, he broke his left collarbone where he missed seven games.
What might be the even bigger news, though, is how this will impact other areas of football. What am I talking about? Fantasy football. Yes, Rodgers has been out with an injury for eight weeks now, but does that mean he won’t excel in Sunday’s game? That’s what people are concerned about. Not necessarily from a health perspective or concern for him. But from the perspective, that they are concerned about whether to play him in their fantasy football league.
Should you start Rodgers this week? If you don’t, you might not be happy with yourself later. Why? There are some pretty incredible predictions about Rodgers this weekend. As a result, you might be pretty angry with yourself for not playing him. Obviously, being concerned is warranted. Like I said, he’s been gone for eight weeks. And maybe you’re concerned about lingering pain. But Rodgers has been throwing since November 26th. If there was any lingering pain, he likely wouldn’t be back in the game this week. I think we will all be watching on Sunday, regardless, so I am hoping for a win for the Packers. If for nothing else, than for Rodgers himself.