GREEN BAY — Aaron Rodgers sounds conflicted about when he might return from his broken collarbone.
On one hand, the Green Bay Packers quarterback doesn't want to do any further damage that could not only end his season but mean an offseason full of rehabilitation work. On the other hand, he knows his team is now 5-5, having lost three straight since he went down against the Chicago Bears on Nov. 4, and he sees the Packers' playoff chances slipping away.
As a result, Rodgers refused to rule himself out of Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings during an appearance on the TV show Packers Live with Larry McCarren
on Monday night. The show airs on WGBA-TV (Channel 26) in Green Bay and WTMJ-TV (Channel 4) in Milwaukee.
"I'm going to be back when I'm ready, when there's a very low risk of re-injuring (the collarbone)," Rodgers told McCarren. "Obviously, if you have another blow like I had, a displacement of the collarbone could be three to five months of rehab. That's not what we want.
"At the same time, we're 5-5. We might need a little jolt here at some point."
The Packers post the show to their team website each week, but Monday night's episode had not yet been put up at the time of this writing. The page for the show can be found here
A few hours before the taping of the show, Packers coach Mike McCarthy named Scott Tolzien the starter for Sunday. But the coach also said he had not discussed Rodgers with the medical staff.
"Really, I don't make medical decisions," McCarthy said. "That will be no different with Aaron Rodgers. We all know he wants to play; he wants to play as soon as he can. But those are big decisions when you put a player back on the field. When everybody's confident, then that's when it will happen."
Rodgers acknowledged to McCarren that he is anxious to play and struggling with being a spectator.
"We're still two weeks out of the injury against Chicago. It's a significant injury. I'm doing whatever I can to get back out on the field. Obviously, it's slow going," Rodgers said. "It's unlike any other injury I've had. I've had knee issues, a shoulder injury. I broke finger in college on my throwing hand. But those were all injuries I could play through.
"This has just been a waiting game — and that's probably been the hardest part, as they say. I'm just taking it one day at a time and looking forward to getting back out there at some point."
Asked if there's a game he's targeting, Rodgers replied with the same answer he gave last Tuesday on his weekly radio show on 540 ESPN and ESPNWisconsin.com.
"I don't want to get any hopes up, but it is Monday and I never like to rule myself out of any game," he said. "That being said... Mike may have already done that earlier."
Actually, McCarthy didn't officially rule Rodgers out when he named Tolzien the starter; in fact, Rodgers hasn't been ruled out until the Friday injury report each of the past two weeks.