Injured Packers QB Rodgers leaves door open for 2017 return
Aaron Rodgers is recovering from a broken collarbone but the star Green Bay Packers quarterback still hopes to return to the NFL this season.
The play-off chasing Packers were rocked by a serious injury to Rodgers in last month's 23-10 defeat to the Minnesota Vikings.
Rodgers was legally hit by Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr as the 33-year-old three a pass that was dropped by tight end Martellus Bennett.
However, the Super Bowl champion and two-time MVP is not calling time on the 2017 season just yet.
"First of all I want to be healthy, that's the most important thing," Rodgers told reporters on Friday. "But if we're healthy in eight weeks and it would make sense to come back, then I'm going to come back.
"The only reason to come back would be that I'm healed completely. If that doesn't happen in eight weeks, there's not even a conversation."
Professional athletes are often thought of as real-life superheros, able to come back from even the most gruesome injuries. But they feel vulnerabilities, too, and Rodgers had some early nerves about his injury.
"I spent the first three days after the injury doing a lot of research, not only on where I wanted to get the surgery but remedies to increase healing," Rodgers said.
"And obviously I have a lot of down time now, a lot of rabbit holes I can go down as far as healing and alternative ways of increasing that time that are obviously natural, legal and safe.
"But ultimately it comes down to blood flow to that area and how fast it lays down some bone there."
Rodgers had 13 touchdowns and just three interceptions before sustaining his injury.
He was also completing over 66 per cent of his passes with a 103.2 QB rating. He believes he can practice again this season, but his arm's mobility is currently his biggest concern.
"The biggest thing right now is range of motion and strength, which ultimately won't be the issues as we get to the end of this season," Rodgers said.
"It will be the bone healing. But there is a timeline. I believe I can practice in six weeks based on the schedule. So if I'm at a place at that point healing-wise and ability to throw, then I'll be out there. And if I'm not, I won't."