GREEN BAY, Wis. Josh Hart Jersey . -- Aaron Rodgers has been cleared to return from a left collarbone injury, just in time to start Sunday for the Packers against the Chicago Bears in a game to decide the NFC North title. With no advance warning and little fanfare, the franchise quarterback received the long-awaited good news at the same time as the rest of his teammates Thursday. "This is a fun day for me, but I think the focus needs to be on this game and the opportunity we have to win the division," Rodgers said. Soon enough. But the spotlight for now is squarely on the return of one of the NFLs most irreplaceable players. Green Bay (7-7-1) is 2-5-1 since Rodgers went down during the first series of a 27-20 loss Nov. 4 to Chicago. The Packers have managed to hang on, with a shot to win a third straight division title with a victory Sunday at Soldier Field. "Ill start with the announcement that were preparing for the Chicago Bears with Aaron Rodgers as our starting quarterback," coach Mike McCarthy told reporters Thursday after practice. Win and Green Bay returns to Lambeau Field the following weekend to host a wild-card team in the first round of the playoffs. "Were in it. You know we have a chance against our rivals, and what a better way than to go down there and get some redemption and host a home playoff game," Rodgers said. The last two months have been filled with angst for Packers fans. Discussions about whether Rodgers should risk future injury or return to bolster Green Bays playoff chances have filled sports talk radio shows and holiday office parties. Now imagine what it was like for the Packers brass and team doctor. The organization made a big investment in Rodgers this past off-season, signing him to a five-year contract extension through the 2019 season worth as much as $110 million. "Every football player that plays in this game Sunday will have risk. I think we all understand that," McCarthy said. "So weve done our due diligence. Weve gone through all the evaluations and we feel it is time. Aaron is ready to play." Finally at 8:05 a.m. Thursday, McCarthy gave the official word at a team meeting. No rousing speeches or rounds of applause. "The scene? We were sitting in the team room and he told us," Rodgers said matter-of-factly. "That was the scene." Rodgers is returning just when pass-rushing linebacker Clay Matthews is leaving the lineup again with a right thumb injury. Green Bay also has gone the majority of the season without tight end Jermichael Finley (neck). Projected starting left tackle Bryan Bulaga went down in training camp. Defensive end Johnny Jolly (shoulder/neck) was the latest Packer to get knocked out for the year last week. Still, the Packers managed to start 5-2 despite the injuries with Rodgers leading the offence. Things changed drastically after the 2011 NFL MVP got hurt on a sack while scrambling out of the pocket in the Week 9 loss to Chicago at Lambeau Field. The Packers went on a five-game winless skid, shuffling through three more starting quarterbacks. Green Bay then won two straight with backup Matt Flynn before falling 38-31 last week to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Losses by Chicago and the Detroit Lions set up the winner-take-all finale Sunday with the Bears for the division. Rodgers impending return wasnt the only good injury news Thursday in Titletown. Rookie running back Eddie Lacy was held out of practice with a lingering ankle injury, though McCarthy expects his 1,100-yard rusher to play Sunday. Playmaking receiver Randall Cobb, out since Week 6 with a leg injury, is moving well in practice and appears to be getting closer to returning. While he wont make the final call, Cobb said "This week in practice Im going out and preparing to play." And now with Rodgers back, positive vibes are reverberating through the locker room. Rodgers has gained added perspective from having to watch from the sideline with a headset. Hes been there to help Flynn. He understands that every move he makes in Chicago will be dissected by armchair quarterbacks. "Its easy to talk about it with you guys and understand the risks," he said. "But when youre out on the field, its about performing and playing and not worrying about it." Jrue Holiday Jersey .com) - New England Patriots starting center Bryan Stork will not play in Sundays AFC Championship against Indianapolis due to a knee injury the rookie sustained last week. DeMarcus Cousins Jersey .85 million contract with the two-time Gold Glove outfielder. Parra earned his second Gold Glove last season when he set a club record with 17 outfield assists.Los Angeles, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies have finalized their agreed-upon trade that sends former National League MVP Jimmy Rollins to the West Coast for a pair of minor league pitching prospects. Rollins, the 2007 NL MVP and the Phillies all-time hits leader, heads to Los Angeles in exchange for right-hander Zach Eflin and lefty Tom Windle. Philadelphia is also sending the Dodgers an undisclosed amount of cash to help cover Rollins $11 million salary for this coming season. The two teams have had the parameters of the deal in place since last weeks Winter Meetings, but it was held up because of a delay in the trade between the Dodgers and San Diego involving slugger Matt Kemp. Eflin, a Padres farmhand, was part of the package Los Angeles received in the Kemp deal, which was finally completed Thursday after an issue regarding Kemps physical was resolved. Rollins turned 36 years old last month but remains a capable all-around shortstop. The three-time All-Star hit 17 home runs and stole 28 bases in 138 games last season, finishing the year with a .243 average and 55 RBI. The California native had spent his entire professional career in the Phillies organization. Rollins was selected by Philadelphia in the second round of the 1996 MLB Draft and made his big league debut in September of 2000. He proceeded to start the neext 14 Opening Days for the franchise, developing into a cornerstone of a Phillies team that won five straight NL East titles from 2007-11 and captured the 2008 World Series. Nickeil Alexander-Walker Jersey. Rollins amassed 2,306 hits and a franchise-record 479 doubles in a Phillies uniform, and also ranks second in team annals in games played (2,090), extra- base hits (806), stolen bases (453) and total bases (3,655). He also won four Gold Gloves for his work at shortstop, most recently in 2011. Jimmy is both an iconic player and person whom I have had the great joy of watching grow up in this game and this city, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro stated. His contributions to the franchise and to Philadelphia are unparalleled and I wish him the best in Los Angeles. This transaction is one that I believe benefits both Jimmy and the Phillies. The Dodgers were in the market for a shortstop after 2014 starter Hanley Ramirez signed with Boston as a free agent. Eflin, 20, is coming off a solid season in the Class A California League, going 10-7 with a 3.80 ERA in 24 starts for Lake Elsinore. A supplemental first round selection of the Padres in 2012, he led the Midwest League with a 2.73 ERA in his first full pro season in 2013. Windle, a second-round pick of the Dodgers in the 2013 draft, went 12-8 with a 4.26 ERA in 26 games (25 starts) for Rancho Cucamonga in the Cal League. ' ' '
in a game to decide the NFC N
in a game to decide the NFC N