GREEN BAY — Judging by his unwillingness to answer a simple yes-or-no question about the state of his left collarbone Tuesday, Aaron Rodgers may have been "100 percent cleared" to return to action, but the Green Bay Packers quarterback probably wasn't 100 percent healed
when he returned to lead the Packers to the playoffs with a Dec. 29 victory at Chicago.
Speaking on his weekly radio show on 540 ESPN, 100.5 FM ESPN and ESPNWisconsin.com
Tuesday, Rodgers said his left collarbone, which he fractured on Nov. 4 against the Bears, is "feeling good," but when asked point-blank if the bone is healed, Rodgers turned the back-and-forth into an Abbott and Costello "Who's on First?" routine.
Here’s the exchange:
Question: Yes or no, is your collarbone 100 percent healed?
Rodgers: “I can’t give you a yes or no answer because I haven’t seen a scan.”
Question: Yes or no, was it 100 percent healed against the Bears?
Rodgers: “I was cleared, yes.”
Question: That’s not a yes or no answer.
Rodgers: “I don’t think that answer pertains to this conversation at this point. … I don’t even know what 100 percent is.
Question: Like it was before you broke it.
Rodgers: “Maybe it wasn’t 100 percent then. I was 100 percent cleared. That’s all that matters.”
One thing Rodgers was clear on was the fact that had he played and refractured the collarbone, the setback would have been significant. Some suggested that Rodgers should have assumed the risk and played sooner because re-breaking the bone, even if it would have been displaced and required surgery, would have "only" cost him the offseason.
"I think what most people didn't understand about this injury is, it's not just displacement. If you reinjure it it's a displaced collarbone and you have surgery and a plate inserted, (being 100 percent) three months later, that's like in some perfect dream world," Rodgers said. "There's a lot of complications that could have come with it. The rehab is more like five months, which puts you missing organized team activities potentially or at least IPWs (individual position workouts). Then you have the complications with a plate being in your collarbone. There's still opportunity for non-union, where the bone doesn't necessarily come all the way together. You could have injections, you could have a reaction to the injections.
"We were handcuffed by the weekly scan that we saw, which did not show a healthy bone yet. It was frustrating. I can promise you it was more frustrating for me than any fan out there or any teammate or coach because nobody wanted to be out there more than I did, and nobody's as competitive as I am. You can ask my friends that. So it was really difficult. But ultimately we were able to get back on the field and have some fun again."
Rodgers called the upcoming offseason "important" because he turned 30 on Dec. 2.
"I'm going to set some really high expectations for my physical conditioning," Rodgers said. "I'm expecting to be in phenomenal shape come August, and I expect big things out of our team. We need to improve on both sides of the ball. There's a lot of tough decisions coming up with some free agents, but I control the shape that I'm in and my mental status and I'm going to be ready to play and I'm going to be in good shape."
Rodgers added that his workouts won't change because of the injury.
"It's just a continuation of some of the stuff I've been doing the last few years. I felt really last offseason that I had to work just a little bit harder to get into the kind of shape I wanted to be in," Rodgers said. "It's going to be building off the gains I made last year, eating right.
"When you pair that with a good workout program, I'm going to be doing that. Also, [I will be] focusing on a couple of other areas, flexibility being one of them, so I might run into you at the yoga spot. So continue to the diet, get in really really good shape and [improve] flexibility."