Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been cleared to return to the lineup after breaking his collarbone a couple of months ago and that’s given the team’s playoff hopes a jolt with three games left in the season.
Rodgers’ return is obviously a big deal, but coach Mike McCarthy said on Wednesday that he doesn’t want his team to take anything for granted because the quarterback is on track to return to action. The Packers will be taking on a Panthers team that’s also bidding for a playoff berth and McCarthy wants his entire team to rise to the occasion.
“We’ve got to play better,” McCarthy said, via Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “That was my message to them today. I think our football team has done an excellent job of finding different ways to win. We’re not going to go to Carolina with a bunch of false confidence. We understand the impact that Aaron Rodgers makes for our football team and, hell, the impact that he’d make for anybody’s football team. He’s a great player, he’s an impact player. We’re in a position that we’re in. We’re 7-6. We clearly understand what’s on the line here. Carolina’s in a similar position.”
McCarthy was asked if the team would take any precautions with Rodgers due to the metal plates that are still affixed to his collarbone. McCarthy didn’t go into specifics of the team’s plan, but said you have to “play your game” which suggests they’ll be using Rodgers in the usual fashion.