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Packers rule out Aaron Rodgers; Matt Flynn will start

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The Green Bay Packers have ruled out 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 the Bears on Nov. 4.

Backup Matt Flynn will make a fourth straight start. Coach Mike McCarthy said Friday that Rodgers has not received medical clearance yet, and that 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. So as an organization, we are not ready for him to play."

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 Steelers this week and Bears next week.

Rodgers this week said he hasn't suffered any setbacks. He appears to be improving each week.

Rodgers looked sharp in individual drills and other parts of brief portions of practice open to media, though Flynn has taken the majority of practice snaps.

Bears' Briggs a game-time decision

The status of injured Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs will remain uncertain until just before game time Sunday night against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Briggs is questionable for Sunday's game, although all indications are he'll be able to play. On Friday Briggs went through his first full practice since fracturing his left shoulder Oct. 20.

Peterson expected to return for Vikings

Adrian Peterson returned to practice for the Minnesota Vikings on Friday and is expected to play in Sunday's game at Cincinnati as long as he doesn't have any setbacks with his sprained right foot.

The NFL most valuable player trails Philadelphia's LeSean McCoy by 122 yards for the league rushing title with two games left.

Rams' Austin questionable

Rookie wide receiver Tavon Austin missed his sixth straight day of practice and will be questionable for the St. Louis Rams on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Running back Daryl Richardson also was out Friday with a hamstring injury and also is questionable.

Austin injured his left ankle getting tackled at the end of a 56-yard run and missed last weekend's game against New Orleans.

Welker won't play

As expected, Denver Broncos slot receiver Wes Welker was officially ruled out of this weekend's game at Houston because of a concussion.

He's also 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, which would end his season.

Lions' Pettigrew is ruled out

Detroit Lions tight end Brandon Pettigrew has been ruled out for Sunday's game against the New York Giants.

Pettigrew hurt an ankle during Detroit's 18-16 loss to Baltimore on Monday night. Without him, Detroit might look to Joseph Fauria to play a bigger role in the offense.

Bills' Williams, Johnson won't play

Buffalo Bills safety Aaron Williams has been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins because of a rib injury.

Williams was hurt in Buffalo's win Sunday over the Jacksonville Jaguars and did not practice all week. Veteran Jim Leonhard is expected to start in his place. Wide receiver Stevie Johnson was also officially ruled out. Johnson has been excused from practice this week following the death of his mother.

Quarterback EJ Manuel (knee) was ruled out earlier in the week.

Etc.

The Seattle Seahawks will be without starting right guard J.R. Sweezy for their game Sunday against Arizona after he suffered a concussion last week.

The Kansas City Chiefs will have dangerous punt returner Dexter McCluster back from injury when they play the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium.

McCluster missed last week's win at Oakland after developing an infection in his ankle.

Pittsburgh's Brett Keisel expects to play on Sunday when the Steelers travel to Green Bay. He missed four of the previous five games because of plantar fasciitis in his left foot but practiced on Friday without any issues and is listed as probable.

Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew practiced in a limited capacity Friday, a positive sign he might be able to play against the Tennessee Titans.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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