Aaron Rodgers poised for return with Packers in playoff hunt

McCarthy ducks questions about QB's status

CLEVELAND (AP) — Aaron Rodgers stood on the sideline, fighting off the December chill inside a large green Packers jacket and stocking cap.

His game-day look could soon be more familiar.

Relegated to being a cheerleader since breaking his collarbone in October, Rodgers may be back on the field next Sunday for Green Bay, which kept its playoff hopes ticking by rallying to beat the Cleveland Browns 27-21 in overtime.

When Rodgers went down on Oct. 15, slammed to the turf by Minnesota linebacker Anthony Barr, the Packers' season seemed to be as good as over. But Green Bay managed to go 3-4 without its star QB, winning the past two weeks in OT, and the Packers are now poised to make a postseason push.

"We're like a zombie, we refuse to go down," said Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari. "That's a nice characteristic you want from a team when physically, the injuries are piling up. I don't know what percentage we've had with back-to-back overtime games and having two walk-offs. It's definitely a momentum builder."

The Packers are rolling indeed. Rodgers returned to practice in pads last week, and as long as he clears any medical tests this week, No. 12 is expected to be back behind center next week when the Packers visit Carolina.

Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy ducked any questions about Rodgers' status, preferring to keep the focus on his team's gutty comeback and not the return of his two-time MVP.

"We love Aaron Rodgers, but I will not answer any questions about him today," McCarthy said. "This is about winning the game. He's still in the medical situation, and as soon as we have the information, we will try to get it to you."

After Packers safety Josh Jones intercepted Kizer early in overtime, Hundley connected on a short pass to Davante Adams, who spun out of a tackle and scored Green Bay's game-winning TD before running into the tunnel and straight to the locker room.

Rodgers wasn't far behind. In a few days, he may be leading again.

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