Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has taken another step towards returning to game action.
On Saturday Rodgers practiced for the first time since breaking the collarbone in his throwing shoulder during the Packers Week 6 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, via NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Rodgers had a throwing session on Friday during the Packers’ off day. That session was used to determine whether or not he could return to practice, and he clearly showed that he is ready to continue stepping up his workload.
He threw passes for the first time since his injury in the hours leading up to the Packers’ Sunday Night Football loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Packers are currently the fourth team out in the NFC playoff picture. However, if they defeat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday they will move ahead of the Dallas Cowboys because they won the head-to-head matchup.
Prior to Rodgers injury the Packers were 4-1, and they have managed to win one game since then. If they somehow made the playoffs of course they would be a threat to win the NFC.
They are two games behind the Atlanta Falcons who own the final wild-card spot in the NFC, and a head-to-head tiebreaker against the Packers. However, the Falcons play against the 9-2 Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, and Carolina Panthers—who currently own the other wild-card spot—are on the road against the NFC South leading New Orleans Saints.
The other teams ahead of the Packers in the playoff picture are the Seattle Seahawks and Detroit Lions. The Seahawks are at home on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles who have the best record in the NFL, and Lions play the 6-5 Baltimore Ravens.
Also the Packers conclude their regular-season schedule with a game against the Lions.
If the Week 13 key NFC matchups break the Packers way, and most importantly they beat the Buccaneers, it could be worth getting Rodgers on the field when he’s healthy enough to play.
Their next game is against the currently winless Cleveland Browns.