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NFL Roundup

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POSTED December 27, 2013 12:44 a.m.

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — 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 NFL’s 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.

“I’ll start with the announcement that we’re preparing for the Chicago Bears with Aaron Rodgers as our starting quarterback,” coach Mike McCarthy told reporters Thursday after practice.



Nnamdi Asomugha to retire after 11 seasons: ALAMEDA (AP) — Former All-Pro cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha will retire after 11 years in the NFL.

The Raiders said Asomugha will announce his retirement officially at a news conference at team headquarters Friday.

Asomugha had his greatest success in the NFL with the Raiders after being drafted in the first round out of California in 2003. He earned three Pro Bowl selections in eight seasons in Oakland and was a first-team All-Pro in 2008 and 2010.

Asomugha struggled after joining Philadelphia as a high-profile free agent in 2011. After two seasons with the Eagles, Asomugha played three games with San Francisco this season before being cut last month.



NFL players still hiding, playing with concussions: ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — Detroit Lions tight end Dorin Dickerson is the latest NFL player to stay in a game with a concussion.

He joined a list that is likely long.

Buffalo Bills safety Jim Leonhard and Tennessee Titans safety George Wilson both acknowledged this week they have played with concussions in the past.

San Diego Chargers safety Eric Weddle says, “of course it happens,” because players don’t want to come out of games for fear of losing their jobs or roles.



Cowboys may find out what they can do without Romo: IRVING, Texas (AP) — For years, Tony Romo’s defenders have answered his penchant for costly late-game mistakes with a rhetorical question:

What would the Dallas Cowboys do without him?

It appears they will find out in their fourth playoffs-or-bust season finale against an NFC East rival since 2008 — and their first elimination game without Romo in 10 years.

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