GREEN BAY, Wis. – The Green Bay Packers have ruled out quarterback Aaron Rodgers for Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
It will be Green Bay’s seventh straight game without Rodgers since the franchise quarterback fractured his left collarbone during the first series of a 27-20 loss to Chicago on Nov. 4.
Backup Matt Flynn — a former Seahawk — will make a fourth straight start. Coach Mike McCarthy said Friday that Rodgers has not received medical clearance and added the organization feels Rodgers is not ready to play.
“Just as I’ve stated all along, we’ve got two different circumstances here. We’ve got Aaron Rodgers’ health, and obviously where we are as a football team,” McCarthy said. “Until we feel good about where Aaron is medically, that will not be part of the second circumstance.”
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Green Bay (7-6-1) went winless for five games before rallying for two straight come-from-behind victories with Flynn at quarterback to get back into the NFC North race.
The Packers can win the division by beating the visiting Steelers and winning Dec. 29 in Chicago.
Rodgers looked sharp in portions of practice open to media, though Flynn has taken the majority of practice snaps.
“I think Aaron clearly wants to play. I mean, he’s a very competitive man,” McCarthy said.
Denver’s Welker isn’t ready
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – Denver Broncos receiver Wes Welker was officially ruled out of Sunday’s game at Houston.
Welker also is expected to be held out of the Broncos’ regular-season finale at Oakland on Dec. 29 as a precaution against a third head injury this month.
The Broncos (11-3) are hoping to gain home-field advantage in the playoffs and a first-round bye that would give Welker more than a month’s rest.
Welker hasn’t played since leaving a Dec. 8 game against Tennessee shortly before halftime with his second concussion in a three-week span. He was cleared Thursday to resume light workouts.
Welker has a career-high 10 touchdown catches in his first year in Denver after six seasons as Tom Brady’s favorite target in New England.
• Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson, the most valuable player in the league last season, is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game at Cincinnati because of a sprained right foot but said he expects to play.
A week ago, Peterson was listed as questionable and didn’t play against Philadelphia. Coach Leslie Frazier had the misfortune of telling Peterson he wasn’t going to play last weekend.
“Man, words can’t even express it,” Peterson said of his reaction. “I was hot. I was devastated. I was looking forward to playing and being out there with the guys.
“I didn’t get my way that day.”
• Arizona Cardinals linebacker Marcus Benard was fined $15,750 for roughing the passer because of a hit on Tennessee’s Ryan Fitzpatrick in Sunday’s 37-34 Arizona victory.