Packers activate Aaron Rodgers from injured reserve

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- The Green Bay Packers activated quarterback Aaron Rodgers from injured reserve Saturday, a day before he starts Sunday in a must-win game at Carolina.

Rodgers broke his right collarbone at Minnesota on Oct. 15, had surgery and was placed on injured reserve on Oct. 20. He returned to practice on a limited basis on Dec. 2, was cleared by the team's medical staff Tuesday night and took the first-team reps this week.

The Packers will need the "old Aaron" to keep their faint playoff hopes alive. Green Bay went 4-1 to start the season before Rodgers was injured on a hit by linebacker Anthony Barr in Week 6. The Packers fell to 5-6 before Brett Hundley directed back-to-back overtime wins against Tampa Bay and Cleveland. At 7-6, they are in ninth place in the NFC. The Panthers are 9-4 and lead the race for the conference's two wild-card spots.

To make room on the roster, Green Bay released No. 3 quarterback Joe Callahan.

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