GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Don't expect the on-going Aaron Rodgers' will-he-or-won't-play saga to drag out all week.
Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Monday he wants to know “sooner than later” whether Rodgers will return from his broken collarbone and play in Sunday's regular-season finale, the NFC North title game at the Chicago Bears.
Without saying whether Rodgers has been medically cleared -- only that he had not discussed Rodgers' situation on Monday with team physician Dr. Pat McKenzie -- McCarthy said he and general manager Ted Thompson would meet to discuss their plans for Rodgers this week.
Each week since Rodgers returned to practice from his Nov. 4 injury, the Packers have taken the decision right up until final injury designations were due on the Friday before the game. The past two weeks, Rodgers took part in some 11-on-11 drills in practice after doing only individual drills the first two weeks after his return.
“This is something I think clearly after seeing Aaron practice for two weeks, this is something Ted Thompson and I need to sit down and we need to assess all the information and to decide if it's time for him to play,” McCarthy said Monday. “Aaron wants to play, has wanted to play for the last couple of weeks. He fully accepts, understands everything going on with his injury, so this is really a decision for Ted Thompson and I representing the organization. That's how it works.”
McCarthy indicated he preferred not to wait until Friday to do that.
“I think it's important for us to make a quicker decision,” McCarthy said. “This has obviously been frustrating and stressful for Aaron, rightfully so, but also our football team, I want them to know who the quarterback's going to be.”
So why the change in plans this week?
Could it be McCarthy is trying to ease the apparent tension between him and Rodgers over how his week-to-week status has been handled. McCarthy dismissed the notion that there is friction between him and his quarterback.
"I'm very confident with my relationship with Aaron Rodgers," McCarthy said. "I mean, he's frustrated that he's not playing. I have no problem with our relationship."