Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, as expected, returned to practice on Saturday, for the first time since a right clavicle fracture resulted in the use of 13 screws to bind the bone together. And so, as the franchise quarterback turns 34 today, the question becomes which day he’ll return to play.
He’s eligible to take the field in 15 days, when the Packers visit the Panthers. Rodgers has made it clear that he’ll return only if he’s healthy, and if “it would make sense” to return.
For now, it still makes sense, because the Packers remain alive for a playoff berth. A loss at home this week to the Buccaneers or next week at Cleveland could make it much harder for the Packers to get to the playoffs, even if Rodgers returns and the team runs the table in games against the Panthers, Vikings, and Lions.
However it plays out, get ready for 2013 all over again, which featured weekly will-he-or-won’t-he reports as he recovered from a broken left clavicle — and which introduced terms like “organizational decision,” “extraordinary risk,” and “perceived toughness” to the national conversation about whether and when Rodgers would play.