Romo feels (and felt) Rodgers' pain

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Many have weighed in on whether Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers should play or will play again this season after breaking his collarbone on Nov. 4.

But few have the insight that Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has on the subject.

Romo broke his collarbone on Oct. 25, 2010, and did not return the rest of that season. Romo’s injury occurred in the same spot as Rodgers' -- the left clavicle -- but was worse because it was displaced, meaning the two ends of the bone were separated from each other. Rodgers sustained a non-displaced fracture.

“I was doing everything I could to get back out there,” Romo said during a conference call Wednesday with reporters at Lambeau Field. “I know Aaron’s doing the same thing. You also have to be smart about it. If he’s been feeling good for a couple of weeks, then I think that’s something where you could really have a chance to say his re-injury factor has gone down. And if that’s the case, you might be able to go.”

But Rodgers felt pain as recently as last week. He said during his ESPN Milwaukee radio show on Tuesday that he experienced more discomfort than expected when he practiced last Wednesday.

He returned to practice on Wednesday and although coach Mike McCarthy said Rodgers did not look like he was in pain, that might not be known until Thursday, when Rodgers speaks to reporters.

“If you’re feeling it at all, you can’t come back and play,” Romo said. “But even more so than that, even when you get relatively where you feel like it’s pain free, it still doesn’t mean you’re ready to play just because it’s such an easy thing to hurt again.

“And it’s a little different in the sense that if you come back right when you feel like you’re healthy, there’s just so many cases of people come down with another collarbone injury, the same one just re-injuring it. That really plays a big role in determining when you come back, and [it’s] always an injury that you almost have to wait longer than initially diagnosed, typically, because it’s just the re-injury factor alone plays such a high role.”

Romo said doctors initially told him it would take six to eight weeks to heal. Rodgers has mentioned the same timeline several times. Sunday’s game at Dallas would mark the six-week mark since Rodgers’ injury.

However, Romo said it took more like nine or 10 weeks for his to fully heal.

The Cowboys never brought Romo back that season. It was an easy decision because they were out of playoff contention.

The Packers are in a different situation. Heading into Sunday’s game, they are only one-half game out of first place in the NFC North with just three games remaining.

“I think in our case a lot of it was dependent upon where we were and what position we were in and if we had the opportunity to continue to play,” Romo said. “We didn’t that year, so it made the decision easier on the doctors, I think.”