It's another murky week in Green Bay on the injury front. Here's the outlook as of Thursday night:
Eddie Lacy, RB (ankle): As noted here Tuesday, Packers coach Mike McCarthy said it was too early in the week to predict whether Lacy would play Sunday at Dallas after injuring his right ankle in Week 14. On Thursday, the prognosis appeared better, despite Lacy remaining out of practice. As ESPN.com’s Rob Demovsky noted, McCarthy was encouraged by what he was hearing from the team’s medical staff. Although Lacy was still in a walking boot, McCarthy said he would be re-evaluated in the morning, after which a practice plan would be determined. It appears that even if his work is limited, as long as there are no setbacks, Lacy’s outlook for Sunday will be positive.
"Based on Eddie's specific injury, the training staff feels confident he'll be ready to go," McCarthy said.
Ideally, it would be reassuring to know he had tested the ankle on the practice field, but it is worth noting Lacy did return to last weekend’s game after the injury.
Aaron Rodgers, QB (collarbone): The outlook is far less certain for Rodgers, who is expected to undergo another CT scan on his left collarbone Friday, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Rodgers has not been medically cleared to play, and inadequate healing of the bone is at least partially responsible for that decision. This scan will come 10 days after the previous one. Rodgers was also experiencing pain with certain movements at the time of his last scan, adding to the team’s rationale for being cautious. His progress in practice would suggest he is improving in that area as well and, according to Demovsky, Rodgers confirmed he felt better in practice this week compared to last. As for whether he is able to play this week, obviously the medical staff would need to clear him to return. Rodgers says he would also “need to take the majority of the reps” in Friday’s practice if he were going to play Sunday.
From a functional standpoint, this makes sense. To help remove any lingering anxiety around the injury itself, an athlete has to regain confidence that his body is going to respond in the way to which he is accustomed. Practice is not an exact replica of a game situation, but getting reps is certainly a means of building confidence. Since becoming the starter in Green Bay, Rodgers has missed virtually no time. Now in his sixth week of being sidelined, completely unfamiliar territory for Rodgers, a full slate of reps in Friday’s practice would at least reassure him that his shoulder feels ready. If the medical staff says it also looks ready, then there’s a chance Rodgers could make his return in Week 15.