The Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers practiced for the first time since breaking his collarbone on Oct. 15 after he was activated off the injured reserve on Saturday.
While Rodgers still can’t play for at least two more weeks because of the injured reserve rules, it opens the door for him to play on Dec. 17 against the Carolina Panthers. Players who are designated to return can practice six weeks after they were placed on injured reserve and can play two weeks after that.
If Rodgers doesn’t return against the Panthers, the Packers will have to be activated the following week against the Minnesota Vikings or he will be have to remain on the injured reserve, which would officially end his season.
Rodgers has been throwing for at least a week; he did so publicly last Sunday in Pittsburgh for the first time since his surgery. Most of Rodgers’ work for the first two weeks of practice before he can play was expected to be during the individual drills and running the scout team.
The Packers used their second and final “designated to return” spot on Rodgers. They used the first on offensive lineman Jason Spriggs, who suffered a hamstring injury in Week 1. Spriggs made his first start at right tackle last Sunday against the Steelers.
Rodgers said that he planned to play again if his right clavicle was completely healed. The Packers, however, probably wouldn’t put Rodgers on the field unless they were competing for a playoff spot.