Green Bay will make earlier decision on Rodgers

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By Tyler Dunne
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Tuesday, December 24, 2013

GREEN BAY--There will be no day-to-day theatrics this week. A decision on quarterback Aaron Rodgers for the Green Bay Packers will be made “sooner than later,” coach Mike McCarthy said Monday.

With the Packers staring at a de facto NFC North Championship Game on Sunday at Soldier Field, they apparently will know who their starting quarterback is soon. Because Christmas falls on Wednesday, the players will practice Tuesday—a usual day off—and instead be off for the holiday. So there’s a good chance this week’s starter will be in place then.

Unlike weeks past, the Green Bay Packers don’t want to string this along to Friday.

The conversation among Rodgers, general manager Ted Thompson, team physician Patrick McKenzie and McCarthy is ongoing.

“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.”

After seeing Rodgers practice for two weeks, McCarthy said it’s time for him to sit down with Thompson and “assess all the information.”

“Aaron wants to play, has wanted to play for the last couple of weeks,” McCarthy said. “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.”

When asked if Rodgers was medically cleared, McCarthy said that’s “all part of the conversation.” As of Monday afternoon, there was still testing scheduled.

Since Rodgers suffered a fractured left collarbone Nov. 4 against the Bears, the Packers are 2-5-1. Seneca Wallace, Scott Tolzien and Matt Flynn have combined for eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Flynn did lead Green Bay to back-to-back comeback wins but had two crucial second-half turnovers Sunday in a 38-31 loss to Pittsburgh.

Flynn threw an interception on a botched run-pass option that was returned 40 yards for a touchdown. Then, with the score tied, 31-31, he fumbled on a third-and-8 scramble.

Not happy: After a false start penalty and a 10-second runoff Sunday, the Packers had 10 seconds left. From the 6-yard line, McCarthy had two plays ready, but Green Bay’s first snap was delayed and the offense only managed the incomplete slant to Jarrett Boykin.

So what happened?

As players said afterward, the officials apparently didn’t let Evan Dietrich-Smith snap the ball as the seconds ticked away.

“I wish the officiating mechanics were intact,” McCarthy said. “I think it’s clear to everybody, it doesn’t take 10 seconds to throw a three-step drop. You guys go to practice every day, we have a clock that we train our football team, and it’s a 2.3 (-second) average three-step drop that (when it) comes out on time is 1.7. The center was given an indication to snap the ball and the clock had been running, he was given an indication to snap the ball at 3.

“If you watch the game, obviously we were all up in arms about it after the game, but you go back and watch the video, I think it’s clear exactly what happened.”

Dietrich-Smith was told not to snap the ball until he got a signal from the umpire, McCarthy said. By the time he got the signal, there were 3 seconds left.

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