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NFL roundup: Packers' Rodgers was not close to returning

The SportsXchange

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was officially ruled out of Sunday's game against the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers, but according to reports, he was never close to taking the field this week.

Rodgers, recovering from a broken collarbone that has sidelined him for the past six weeks, took part in limited practice Friday but still has not been medically cleared to play. However, ESPN reported Sunday that "extraordinary risk" remains, and his return this season is questionable.

"As an organization we do not feel like we are ready for him to play," coach Mike McCarthy said Friday. "He's not medically cleared, that's still the case today. As an organization, we don't think this is the right time for him to play."

Sunday was Green Bay's seventh without Rodgers, who has been battling for several weeks to return to the field and increased his workload on the field and in the weight room this week. He will begin the process of attempting to get medically cleared again Monday or Tuesday.

---Packers linebacker Clay Matthews went to the locker room with a thumb injury in the second quarter of Sunday's game against Pittsburgh. The team said he would not return.

Matthews, who has 7.5 sacks, missed four games earlier this season with a broken right thumb.

---Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson tied an NFL record with his fifth 100-catch season.

Johnson entered Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos needing just one reception to tie Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker for the mark.

Johnson made a 33-yard reception in the first quarter to tie the career record.

---Chicago Bears defensive tackle Henry Melton was arrested Saturday night for assault and public intoxication at a bar in Grapevine, Texas, ESPN.com reported.

The incident occurred during an altercation with a bartender at Chill Sports Bar & Grill.

Melton was released at 9:21 a.m. Sunday morning after posting bond.

The 2012 Pro Bowler is on injured reserve with a torn ACL. He last played Sept. 22 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

---The Detroit Lions have the highest payroll in the NFL this season, according to the league's Players Association.

The Lions spent $162 million, which is $38 million over the salary cap. However, payroll figures include money tied to players no longer with the team.

The Green Bay Packers were second at $160 million.

The Oakland Raiders spent an NFL-low $93 million. However, the Carolina Panthers spent the least per win so far this season with a payroll of $99 million and 10 wins.

---The Miami Dolphins got a surprise wakeup call at 3:30 a.m. Sunday when a fire alarm went off inside the visiting team hotel in downtown Buffalo.

Hotel patrons were evacuated from their rooms as a fire truck arrived, but there was no fire.

One Dolphins player told NFL.com, "Hell no! I didn't get out of bed," when asked if he waited outside in the cold after the alarm sounded.

---Oakland Raiders coach Dennis Allen was unsuccessful in convincing owner Mark Davis to give contract extensions to any of his assistant coaches, ESPN reported.

Allen, in his second season, asked Davis two weeks ago to extend the majority of the assistant coaches with expiring contracts.

Davis reportedly told Allen he is not ready to commit to any of his coaches for next year, including Allen.
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