Around that same time, Mike McCarthy even went so far as to imply that Rodgers himself would dictate the timing of his return, telling ESPN.com, "But let's not kid ourselves, if [Rodgers] walked in your office and asked for the ball on Saturday, what would you do?"
Oh my, how things change.
A full seven weeks after Rodgers was originally injured, the Green Bay Packers still appear unwilling to give any kind of decipherable update about Rodgers' recovery and availability in 2013.
In fact, the method in which the Packers have delicately tried to manage the Aaron Rodgers's injury situation is starting to look more like the instruction book for handling a fragile Fabergé Egg than an American football player.
Fabergé is of course the last name of the well-known jewelry maker Peter Carl Fabergé. The most famous of his works arguably being the 50 or so egg-shape-inspired works commissioned by the Russian Tzars from 1885 through 1917.
Of the 42 still known to exist, nine were sold to Victor Vekselberg in 2004 for about $100 million, according to Wikipedia. Coincidentally, that's roughly the same amount of money the Green Bay Packers invested in Aaron Rodgers' contract extension this past spring.
In almost every moment of their existence, the Fabergé eggs have probably been handled with the utmost respect for their delicacy -- the same type of treatment that would usually be afforded a new-born baby. Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy have arguably used this same degree of sensitivity in dealing with communications concerning the health of Aaron Rodgers.
For weeks, the Packers front men have been fixated on the phrase "medical clearance" -- the confirmation from doctors that Rodgers is healthy enough to see action in a game. Then, just before Thanksgiving, Rodgers was unexpectedly observed participating in practice without any type of official team announcement that he had received "medical clearance."
A couple weeks later, Mike McCarthy said of Rodgers, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "He looks like he's ready to play." There was still no word of "medical clearance."
Shortly after getting the coach's thumbs up, the team announced that Rodgers would be ruled out against the Pittsburgh Steelers. This time, according to ESPN.com, McCarthy referenced a mysterious "organizational decision" in explaining the decision.
It's there that the trail ends.
With nothing new to work from, further analysis seems to indicate that Rodgers must have been medically cleared sometime between his injury and the Friday before the Steelers game. However, for some non-specific reason, the operational leaders of the Packers' operations overruled that medical decision using criteria from their own risk assessment.
It's almost impossible to construct another reasonable explanation as to why the team would suddenly shift their decision-making rationale from "medical" to "organizational." It's at this point in the process, when it seems plausible to start questioning the strategic approach to Rodgers' injury in terms of public disclosure.
Leaving important questions such as a franchise quarterback's health and availability unanswered has a way of producing even more questions while also alienating the people that count most (i.e. the fans).
Green Bay has a long history of straight shooting leaders that have always "told it like it is." It's simply impossible to envision Vince Lombardi or Curly Lambeau endorsing or participating in such a charade.
In fact, it's arguable that the team has now unnecessarily manufactured questions about Rodgers' toughness because the team has handled public relations around their quarterback's injury as delicately as a Fabergé egg.
Without adequate and appropriate disclosure by the team, it's only natural for fans and other outsiders to question why a highly-paid player is able to practice at a high level but isn't available to contribute in games laced with playoff implications.
Instead of unintentionally creating a negative side show, leadership in Green Bay should simply come clean on their evaluation and ongoing plans for the quarterback. The NFL may be a serious entertainment business, but a matter of national security it is not.
By simply providing the basic update so many desire, the Packers would probably allow themselves more time for game preparation and personnel management than with a schedule that includes a crash course on espionage tactics from the Cold War.
Andrew Prochnow is a derivatives trader by day and a Green Bay Packers fan by night. He is a regular contributor at Yahoo Sports and The Bleacher Report. Tweet him @AndrewProchnow.
- American Football
- Sports & Recreation
- Green Bay Packers
- Aaron Rodgers
- Mike McCarthy