Quarless: Rodgers Took Some First-Team Reps

While it may or may not mean much in terms of Sunday's game at Dallas, it's a step in the right direction for Aaron Rodgers and his recovery from a broken collarbone.

It might not mean a thing, but tight end Andrew Quarless said quarterback Aaron Rodgers took some snaps with the first-team offense at Wednesday's practice.

"Oh, man, 12 looked real good today," Quarless said. "It was good to see him out there really working with the offense. He was out there before but wasn't working as much with the offense. But today he took some offensive reps, which is a great thing for the team, definitely."

Rodgers, who sustained a broken collarbone on Nov. 4, started his third week of practice this week. Not much has changed, though, from a big-picture perspective. Coach Mike McCarthy said for the umpteenth time that Rodgers has not been cleared medically and will not be allowed to play until he clears that hurdle.

"Aaron Rodgers practiced today in a limited fashion," McCarthy said. "We'll see how he is (Thursday). We'll set a plan for him again (Thursday). Aaron still is not medically cleared, and I think it's important to stay in-tune with that because the topic of ‘is he playing in the game' versus ‘is he medically cleared,' those are two totally different issues. So, Aaron's obviously very important to our organization. He's the face of our franchise and until he's medically cleared, just like any other player going through a significant injury, that's really where the focus will be."

Rodgers practiced last Wednesday, too. During his Tuesday radio show with ESPN Milwaukee's Jason Wilde, Rodgers said the pain he felt doing things as simple as handing off and taking snaps was a clear indicator that he wasn't ready to play.

Rodgers, who will talk to reporters on Thursday rather than his usual Wednesday, was not available to comment on any pain – or lack thereof – he felt on Wednesday. McCarthy said he didn't talk to Rodgers about it following practice but didn't see any red flags.

"I didn't think he was in pain today, from what I saw of it," McCarthy said.

In the meantime, Matt Flynn will continue to prepare as if he'll be starting the team's latest must-win game, this one on Sunday at Dallas.

"It's not like they sit me down and update me every day or anything," Flynn said. "It's going to be one of those things that if I'm at practice and Aaron's taking the snaps, then I know he's playing. It's one of those things that I just prepare like I'm going to be the guy until I see Aaron there."

If Flynn makes his third consecutive start, he senses there is confidence that the Packers can take care of business. A rejuvenated defense played its best game in more than a month and the special teams turned in its best performance of the season.

"I think we're confident," Flynn said. "I think we all know that we've got good players, we've got good skill players and we have guys that can make things happen. I think a really good thing to build on this past week was how big of a team win it was. It just wasn't like the offense went out there and won the game or the defense did. Everyone, all phases of the game, made the plays when they needed to make them. That's something good to build on. If you ask anyone in this locker room, everyone thinks we can win. Everyone thinks we can beat anybody in the league. We just have to go out there and execute and prove it."

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.

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