Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been working on the side and making progress recovering from a broken collarbone. He could return to practice after Week 13. But coach Mike McCarthy isn’t looking that far ahead.
“I would say the targets he’s trying to hit each and every week, it’s segmented,” McCarthy said, per Rob Demovsky of ESPN. “The No. 1 priority is to get him healthy. Practice is not something we’re really focused on right now. … He’s going at 120 mph and so far so good.”
There’s no doubting Rodgers’ importance to the Packers. Still, this isn’t something that should be rushed. While McCarthy is talking about practice, Rodgers should only see game action if it’s clear that the Packers are viable playoff contenders. The last thing anyone would want would be for Rodgers to come back and reinjure his collarbone in meaningless games. If Rodgers isn’t playing, there’s no point in having him practicing intensely, either.
Rodgers isn’t even eligible to play until Week 15. Realistically, the Packers have to run the table to make the playoffs. It’s possible, but not likely.
Easing Rodgers into action seems smart. If the team wins and stays in the race, then it’s worth it to get him back into practice and eventually into games. If not, then a conservative, segmented recovery plan is best for everyone.