The Skinny: Although there is no news available on whether Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers will be able to play this week or not, there is some speculation out there that he could make his return in Week 14 so long as he is “medically cleared” by team physicians to return to play.
The Injury: Rodgers suffered a non-displaced clavicle fracture just over 4 weeks ago, but did not require surgery to due to the fact that the integrity of the bony structure remained intact. There really were no initial time frames given for his return, but in a normal healing process, 4-6 weeks is the standard for bone healing. However, that time frame changes depending on the demand that is being placed on the injured area. If someone who sits at a desk all day fractures his clavicle, that’s one thing. But when 300 pound men are chasing you with the intent of driving you into the ground, “normal” time frames change a bit.
The interesting this to watch will be whether he gets the a-ok from the team doctors to return to the field. Because of the slide the team has been on in Rodgers’ absence, their chances of making the playoffs are dwindling by the week. With their playoff hopes on life support, it may be more imperative to sit Rodgers for the rest of the season so as to not risk re-fracture or a more serious fracture.
The Prognosis: This whole situation is up in the air at this point. Everything that comes from Rodgers and Packers camp will be dissected ad nauseum this week, so expect to hear a lot of conjecture with each passing day. At this point, it seems to be 50/50 between allowing him to play and shutting him down for the season. What the team docs see on imaging in regards to how much he’s healed will go a long way in whether they clear him to return to the field or not, but there is no way to predict how healed a clavicle is for the demands a QB faces on a day to day basis. My gut feeling: he gets shut down for the season. I don’t have anything to base that on at this point, just a risk/reward analysis on my part, in that the risk of re-injury is too great to try to save a flawed team’s playoff chances. But this situation is nowhere close to being over, so stay tuned and make sure you’ve got a guy to play in his place with a viable matchup this week.
For more information or other injury-related questions, you can find me on Twitter at @z_dahdul or email me at email@example.com
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