Rodgers returns to practice for Pack
GREEN BAY, Wis.— Quarterback Aaron Rodgers was not at the Green Bay Packers practice again on Thursday, during the portion open to reporters. He later practiced in team periods and took 50-60 percent of the snaps. But one report Thursday indicates the calf injury may be worse than originally thought.
Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen reported Thursday that Rodgers’ calf muscle “has a slight tear in it in addition to be significantly strained.” One doctor familiar with the injury said in the report, “There’s no question he will play, but there’s also no question he will not be 100 percent. The question is whether he’ll be 95 percent or 50 percent.”
In theory, a muscle “strain” could mean a “tear.”
Coach Mike McCarthy said that Rodgers' mobility "looked good."
"Well, we have a game plan. He went down and did everything we asked him to do today," McCarthy said. "As far as what we do, how we do it, how much we do it, that's what the game's for."
Rodgers missed two days of light practice last week, along with practice on Wednesday, to focus on treatment for the lingering calf injury. He has already said that he intends to play in Sunday's playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys.
"I didn't notice him out there until I saw one ball that kind of squeaked through and went in for a touchdown," veteran cornerback Tramon Williams said. "I said, 'Oh, that's why it squeaked through. We've got No. 12 in the back.' It's a little different."
SEAHAWKS: Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch has lost his appeal to have his $100,000 fine rescinded for not talking to the media.
Lynch was fined in the middle of the season for not speaking to the media. That fine cost him $50,000. That then also compelled the league to collect another $50,000 fine from last season that had been suspended in anticipation that Lynch would fulfill future media obligations.
Lynch had appealed each fine (the money would be deducted from game checks) but it was not until Thursday that there had been word on the outcome of the appeal. The news that he lost the appeal comes on the same day that a feature on Lynch appeared in USA Today and noted that he declined a request to be interviewed by the newspaper.
Meanwhile, center Max Unger is expected to start on Saturday when Seattle hosts Carolina in the NFC divisional playoffs.
The Seahawks' lone injury question is tight end Tony Moeaki, who suffered a calf injury in practice on Tuesday and did not participate on Wednesday and Thursday. Carroll said Moeaki would be a game-time decision.
HALL OF FAME: First-year candidates Junior Seau, Kurt Warner and Orlando Pace are among 18 finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The list of nominees was reduced Thursday to 15 from the modern era, one senior and two contributors. A finalist must receive at least 80 percent of the votes from the 46-person selection committee to be elected.
The class of 2015 will be announced Jan. 31 in Phoenix during "NFL Honors," the TV show in which The Associated Press hands out its eight individual NFL awards. Inductions will be in August in Canton, Ohio.
The modern-day finalists are kicker Morten Andersen, running back Jerome Bettis, wide receiver Tim Brown, coach Don Coryell, running back Terrell Davis, coach Tony Dungy, linebacker-defensive end Kevin Greene, linebacker-defensive end Charles Haley, wide receiver Marvin Harrison, coach Jimmy Johnson, safety John Lynch, and guard Will Shields.
The senior nominee is former Vikings center Mick Tingelhoff.
Special contributors are Bill Polian and Ron Wolf, the architects of Super Bowl teams as executives.