Updated: December 26, 2013 10:48PM
The Green Bay Packers announced that Aaron Rodgers will start on Sunday against the Bears in a game that will determine the NFC North champion.
Rodgers took first-team snaps during practice on Thursday. Packers coach Mike McCarthy made Rodgers’ return offical moments after leaving the field.
“We’re preparing for the Chicago Bears with Aaron Rodgers as our starting quarterback,” McCarthy said.
He broke the news to the team Thursday morning before practice.
Rodgers broke his left collarbone Nov. 4 against the Bears and has missed the last seven games. He started practicing on a limited basis four weeks ago and has been pain-free for about two weeks. He had hoped to get medical clearance for each of the past two games.
The Packers are 2-5-1 since Rodgers’ injury, which occurred on the opening series of their 27-20 loss to the Bears.
The Packers have been riddled by injuries. Linebacker Clay Matthews is out again with a right thumb injury. Running back Eddie Lacy is hobbled by an ankle injury, though McCarthy is optimistic about the rookie’s chances to go Sunday.
“I feel Eddie is in good place,” McCarthy said. “I expect him to play.”
Green Bay has also gone the majority of the season without tight end Jermichael Finley (neck) and playmaking receiver Randall Cobb (leg).
Still, the Packers managed to start 5-2 despite the injuries with Rodgers leading the offense.