Aaron Rodgers hints that he wants to return before Thanksgiving, for Week 12 game

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers can finally sleep through the night, put on a shirt and socks without being in an extreme amount of pain, so he feels like he's ready to play football.

In his weekly radio show with 540 ESPN and ESPNMilwaukee.com, Rodgers hinted that he wants to return from a fractured collarbone for a Week 12 game against Minnesota on Nov. 24. Green Bay's Thanksgiving game against NFC North-leading Detroit is four days after that.

Rodgers, who hurt his collarbone on Nov. 4 against Chicago, sounds impatient.

“I would like to be back this week," Rodgers told ESPN 540. "Now, whether that’s realistic or not remains to be seen. I would never rule myself out on a Tuesday. Now, Mike (McCarthy, Green Bay's coach) probably already has, I think.”

McCarthy said on Sunday that Scott Tolzien will start this week. Green Bay placed Seneca Wallace on injured reserve, and signed Matt Flynn this week.

Rodgers' determination aside, he'll have some hurdles to clear if he wants to return to the field less than three weeks after a fractured collarbone.

McCarthy said Rodgers is "a couple weeks away," but even that is optimistic. In 2010, Dallas quarterback Tony Romo broke his collarbone, and missed eight games before the team put him on injured reserve for the final two games. If you want an example that's more hopeful, New Orleans receiver Marques Colston missed just two games with a broken collarbone in 2011.

Still, the Packers aren't going to take chances with their franchise quarterback, and any further the Packers fall out of the race without Rodgers in the lineup will decrease the chances of them hurrying him back.

The Packers are 5-4, a game behind the Lions in the division. Green Bay is a six-point underdog at the New York Giants this week, presumably without Rodgers in the lineup.

If Rodgers could return the following week against Minnesota, perhaps the Packers could still challenge the Lions for the division. It would be a pretty amazing comeback, but it's far from sure thing to happen.

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdowncorner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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