Aaron Rodgers is listed as doubtful on the Green Bay Packers' official injury report. But Rodgers' playfulness Friday afternoon and one statement by his coach could be viewed as encouraging signs for Packer Nation.
Rodgers left last week's game against Detroit with his second concussion of the season and didn't practice at all this week. But Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Rodgers is "progressing" and he could wait to make a decision on his playing status until shortly before Green Bay meets New England on Sunday night.
Earlier this week, McCarthy said he'd make a decision by Saturday.
"The door is open for Aaron Rodgers to play in the game," McCarthy said.
For the first time this week, Rodgers attended a portion of team meetings before leaving for tests with team physician John Gray. Rodgers also was at practice, although he was only an observer.
If Rodgers is to play, a number of things still must happen. First, he needs to pass both cognitive and conditioning tests. Second, he has to be cleared by an independent doctor. Finally, McCarthy must feel comfortable enough to play Rodgers, despite him having no practice repetitions and little time in meetings this week.
"There's not a written script for this," McCarthy said. "The goal as I stated Monday, Wednesday and Thursday would be to make a decision by Saturday. But with the late start Sunday, we can leave the door open for that."
McCarthy said Rodgers would definitely be on the Packers' charter flight Saturday. McCarthy also said if Rodgers plays, he would wear a different helmet that offered greater protection.
While the odds remain good that Matt Flynn will start Sunday night, there seems to be increasing chatter that Rodgers could play. Stay tuned!