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The Packers’ OT Squeaker Means the Dream of an Aaron Rodgers Return Lives

Under Rodgers’s watch, Green Bay hasn’t missed the playoffs since the 2008 season

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Cleveland Browns Jim Matthews/USA Today

The Packers did it. Or rather, the Browns failed to prevent the Packers from doing it. Either way, Green Bay squeaked out a 27-21 overtime road victory over Cleveland on Sunday, improving its record to 7-6 and keeping its playoff chances alive.

It was an ugly game, and one that the Packers deserved to lose. And yet, thanks to a 65-yard punt return from Trevor Davis; another 100-plus yard all-purpose game from Jamaal Williams, the backup to the backup running back; Brett Hundley’s budding chemistry with Davante Adams; and DeShone Kizer’s decisions to launch footballs into bad situations, the team once again emerged from the rubble with a win.

And wait, what’s that I hear? Not a bird, not a plane, nor even the sound of a fire-breathing dragon. Ahh, it’s the sound of a bone-density scan! The dream of Aaron Rodgers’s return lives, friends!

Rodgers has been sidelined since he broke his right collarbone in Week 6 against the Vikings. He had surgery to repair the break shortly thereafter and began to throw in practice last week. Rodgers even practiced in pads on Thursday. He’s eligible to return from IR next Sunday against the Panthers as long as his CT scan, scheduled for this week, goes well.

“I want to be healthy; that’s the most important thing,” Rodgers said in early November about a possible return to action this season. “But if we’re healthy in eight weeks and it would make sense to come back, then I’m going to come back.”

With the Packers on the edge of the wild-card race and with reports from practice saying that Rodgers looks “ridiculous, just incredible,” a return would seem to make sense. Over the next three weeks, the Packers play at Carolina, at home against the Vikings, and on the road against Detroit—all potential playoff teams. And though the Packers have looked very beatable since Rodgers went down (anyone remember that 23-0 home loss to the Ravens?), his return—even if he’s not at 100 percent—is sure to revitalize the Green Bay offense.

In 2014, it was “R-E-L-A-X … we’re going to be OK.” Last year, he predicted the team could “run the table.” In both years, his predictions came true, and the Packers haven’t missed the playoffs since 2008. Rodgers has made no predictions for this season yet and we don’t even know if he’ll return season. But if he does, we should all be on Slogan Watch.