Aaron Rodgers practices in pads Thursday; fantasy value still seriously up in the air

Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

The Packers quarterback was padded up for the first time since his collarbone injury. We break down the fantasy implications.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was wearing pads in the team's Thursday practice, according to ESPN NFL Nation reporter Rob Demovsky. It is the first time he has done so since his Week 9 collarbone injury against the Chicago Bears. The quarterback's status for the Packers' Sunday 1 p.m. ET time against the Atlanta Falcons is still up in the air.

In eight starts this season (though he left the Bears game after only two pass attempts), Rodgers has thrown for 2,218 yards and 15 touchdowns against only four interceptions, good for a 108.0 passer rating. In the seven games in which he has played the majority, the Packers are 5-2; they are 0-4-1 without Rodgers. The team's interim quarterbacks -- Matt Flynn, Scott Tolzien, and Seneca Wallace -- have been pretty awful, with two touchdown passes against seven interceptions. Flynn's 73.3 passer rating is the best of the group.

Fantasy impact: Despite the fact that he is in pads in practice, it still looks unlikely Rodgers will play Sunday; it doesn't look like he's been cleared for contact yet, and the team's rapid descent in the standings means they have increasing disincentive to rush Rodgers back to action.

Assuming Rodgers is out Sunday, it looks like Flynn will again get the call. The backup quarterback said he wasn't fully acquainted with the team's playbook going into his Thanksgiving Day start, after only three days to prepare in the wake of Tolzien's benching. Flynn should improve upon his disastrous performance on Thanksgiving against the awful Falcons' defense Sunday. It likely doesn't make him a fantasy starter, but does bode well for the team's other offensive players, like running back Eddie Lacy and wide receivers Jordy Nelson, Jarrett Boykin, and James Jones.

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