Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy won’t rule out quarterback Aaron Rodgers for Saturday’s game

The Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers scrambles from the pocket against the Carolina Panthers in the second half at Charlotte, N.C., Sunday. (AP photo)

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy left the door open for quarterback Aaron Rodgers to play against the Minnesota Vikings this weekend.

“Aaron Rodgers is sore, rightfully so,” McCarthy said Monday night, one day after Rodgers’ return from a fractured right collarbone wasn’t enough in the Packers’ 31-24 loss to the Carolina Panthers. “He was hit too many times, took two big hits. So we’re working through that. So we’ll see what tomorrow brings.”

McCarthy said this before the Atlanta Falcons beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to eliminate the Packers from playoff contention and mark the end of the team’s eight-year run of consecutive postseason berths.

Despite Rodgers’ return, who broke his collarbone Oct. 15 at Minnesota, the Packers lost when a late rally fell short. After throwing three interceptions when he looked rusty, Rodgers threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Richard Rodgers with 2:43 left. The Packers then recovered an onside kick and could’ve forced overtime when wide receiver Geronimo Allison fumbled at the Carolina 28-yard line with 1:50 to go.

“I’m disappointed like every man on the sideline is. It was an opportunity,” McCarthy said. “Obviously there was extra energy in our locker room with Aaron playing.”

Rodgers worked hard to convince the team and medical staff to allow him to play, and admitted afterward that he did not play well, completing 26 of 45 passes for 290 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions (71.5 passer rating). He also ran six times for 43 yards, although he took harder hits in the pocket than he did when he scrambled.