THE GREEN BAY Packers aren't ruling out Aaron Rodgers for Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons even though the star quarterback hasn't yet been medically cleared to play since breaking his left collarbone a month ago.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy said that Rodgers will practice today in a limited fashion but that backup Matt Flynn would take the snaps with the starters.
"Aaron wants to play, there's no question about it," McCarthy said yesterday. "But it's a medical situation. He has a clear understanding where he is as far as the process of getting back on the field."
Speaking on his weekly radio show last night, Rodgers confirmed that he had an X-ray and CT scan earlier in the day and acknowledged that the outlook wasn't as promising as he'd hoped when he met with team physician Dr. Pat McKenzie.
"I saw the X-rays and scan," Rodgers said. "We're now 4 weeks and 1 day from my fracture. I've made a lot of progress. A lot of it is just the bone healing. Bone takes 3 to 6 weeks to heal. We all hoped we'd be on the short end of that.
"I trust Doc McKenzie. When I'm ready to play and everyone is on board, then I'm going to play," he added. "After we sat down Tuesday, I haven't had that full clearance. I'm not ruling myself out. I know there's a rush to get back out there. I feel it internally, but also externally. I desperately want to be out there, but it has to look good."
The Packers enter Sunday's game at 5-6-1 and are 0-4-1 since Rodgers was injured on the opening series of their loss to the Chicago Bears on Nov. 4.
* Detroit linebacker Travis Lewis was suspended for the final four games of the regular season for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances.
The 25-year-old Lewis is in his second season after being drafted in the seventh round in 2012. He's played 25 games for Detroit, with no starts, and his contributions have been mostly on special teams.
* Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin says he's "embarrassed" about his ill-timed foray onto the field in last Thursday night's loss to Baltimore but stressed the move was not intentional.
Tomlin apologized at length, saying he did not want to jeopardize the integrity of the game by defending his "inexcusable" actions. Tomlin nearly collided with Ravens kick returner Jacoby Jones after lingering too close to the field of play in the third quarter of a 22-20 Baltimore win.
Tomlin says he spoke with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Monday and will accept any punishment from the league.
* Prosecutors say the fiancee of former New England tight end Aaron Hernandez lied to a grand jury nearly 30 times, including saying she could not recall where she left a large box Hernandez allegedly told her to dispose of.
The Herald News in Fall River, Mass., reported that prosecutors made the accusation in a document filed in Fall River Superior Court on Monday explaining a perjury charge against Shayanna Jenkins.
Jenkins has pleaded not guilty and her attorney has accused prosecutors of overreaching.
Hernandez has pleaded not guilty in the killing of Odin Lloyd, who was dating Jenkins' sister. He is being held without bail.
Prosecutors also say they believe Jenkins lied when she said she couldn't remember conversations about Lloyd's murder that she had with Hernandez.