December 20, 2013

NFL Notebook: Rodgers’ return uncertain

Packers yet to announce Sunday’s starting QB.

The Associated Press

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Aaron Rodgers looked fine on the practice field Thursday. It doesn’t mean he is going to play.

There was no definitive word on whether Rodgers will be medically cleared to return from his collarbone injury in time for Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. It was just another day in the guessing game called “When Will the Franchise Quarterback Return?”

Coach Mike McCarthy indicated he would name his starter Friday.

Rodgers also made several references to his playing status being an “organizational decision.”

“Just a Thursday practice, didn’t take a lot of reps with the teams but felt pretty good out there, was feeling good,” Rodgers said. “It’s obviously a medical decision and an organizational decision at this point.”

Flat out, Aaron: Will you be playing Sunday?

“It’s a medical decision, it’s an organizational decision,” said Rodgers, who is listed as “limited” on the official practice report.

During a brief portion of practice open to media Thursday, Rodgers looked sharp in position drills. He watched as backup Matt Flynn led the offense during another short practice period.

Flynn has played well late in games to lead the Packers back into playoff contention, but knows full well that Rodgers gets the job back whenever he’s cleared.

Backup Matt Flynn would start if Rodgers doesn’t go.

On defense, the Packers have ruled out lineman Johnny Jolly with shoulder and neck injuries that McCarthy said were significant.

49ERS: Jim Harbaugh “absolutely” wants to stay put coaching the 49ers for the long haul. The third-year NFL coach signed a $25 million, five-year contract when he left Stanford to take over the 49ers in January 2011. As far as an extension, 49ers CEO Jed York said on KNBR-680 radio this week that he would like to hammer out a new deal for Harbaugh during the offseason.

There has been speculation the University of Texas might pursue Harbaugh to replace Mack Brown.

“In Judge Judy’s court, hearsay is not admissible evidence,” Harbaugh said. “I watch a lot of Judge Judy.”

CARDINALS: Standout wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald said he practiced fully on Thursday but has one more concussion test to pass with an independent neurologist before he is cleared to play Sunday at Seattle.

Still, the receiver said he expects to play. So does quarterback Carson Palmer, who is dealing with a high ankle sprain.

Both were injured in Sunday’s 37-34 overtime win at Tennessee.

The Cardinals are a battered bunch as they prepare for the Seahawks, a game where Arizona is a big underdog and needs an upset victory to greatly improve its playoff chances.

REDSKINS: Tight end Jordan Reed will miss the rest of the season because of lingering effects from a concussion.

Coach Mike Shanahan said that Reed traveled to Pittsburgh to see a specialist, who recommended that the rookie not practice for the next three weeks.

Reed has missed four games since he was hurt Nov. 17 against Philadelphia. Despite the injury, he remains second on the team in both receptions with 45 and yards receiving with 499.

GIANTS: Wide receiver Victor Cruz will miss the rest of the season after having surgery on his left knee.

Cruz was injured Sunday in the third quarter of the Giants’ 23-0 loss to the Seahawks.

VIKINGS: Running back Adrian Peterson remains on track to return to action this weekend despite being held out of practice for further treatment on his sprained right foot.

Peterson practiced on a limited basis Wednesday and wasn’t on the field at all Thursday, but Coach Leslie Frazier said Peterson “should be fine” to play Sunday at Cincinnati. Peterson sat out the last game against Philadelphia.

BILLS: Buffalo’s home game against Miami on Sunday has not sold out and will not be televised in upstate New York – the team’s first blackout this season.

On two previous occasions, the Bills (5-9) came close to a blackout, but owner Ralph Wilson Jr. bought the remaining tickets against the Cincinnati Bengals (Oct. 13) and the New York Jets (Nov. 17).

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