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Wisconsin Sports Briefs: Rodgers could play Sunday against Atlanta…

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Wisconsin Sports Briefs: Rodgers could play Sunday against Atlanta…
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Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is not medically cleared to play yet, but Coach Mike McCarthy is not ruling him out for Sunday's home game against Atlanta.

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McCarthy told reporters Tuesday afternoon that Rodgers feels good. He suffered a broken collarbone a month ago Wednesday against Chicago.

The coach said backup Matt Flynn would take the snaps with the first team when practice resumes Wednesday for the Falcons game. There's been talk that the Packers would shut Rodgers down for the season if they don't win on Sunday.

McCarthy said there's been "no discussion internally about that."

The coach also said receiver Randall Cobb has made progress the past two weeks from a leg injury suffered early in the season, but he has not been cleared to practice or play yet.

McCarthy said he expects center Evan Dietrich-Smith to practice this week, after his injury in last Thursday's loss at Detroit.

Also Tuesday, the Packers cut third-year safety Jerron McMillian to make room on the roster for running back Kahlil Bell, whom the Pack signed Tuesday. McMillian was demoted to special teams in recent weeks.

Falcons are 3-9

The Atlanta Falcons promise to have momentum going into their Sunday match-up at Green Bay.

The Falcons had Super Bowl aspirations at the start of the year. Instead, they're 3-9.

They're guaranteed of their first losing campaign since 2007 after injuries gave quarterback Matt Ryan a shortage of quality receivers to throw to.

The Packers still have a slim chance at the playoffs at 5-6-1, but they're on a downward trajectory after going 0-4-1 in the wake of Aaron Rodgers' broken collarbone.

Atlanta is heading back up after an overtime win at Buffalo last weekend, which ended a five-game losing streak.

Falcons Coach Mike Smith said he reminded his players that they'll be judged on the way they finish, regardless of their record.

He emphasized the same thing in 2009, when Atlanta won its final three games after being eliminated from the playoffs. It paid off the following year, when the Falcons went 13-3 and won the NFC South Division.

Badgers’ Borland is Big Ten’s linebacker of the year

Wisconsin senior Chris Borland has received the Butkus-Fitzgerald Award as the Big Ten's linebacker of the year.

Borland was also named to the all-conference first team by both the league's coaches and media for the second straight season. During last Monday night's awards show on the Big Ten Network, Badgers Coach Gary Andersen said Borland could play anywhere on the field.

"He just goes, and does what he's supposed to do," Andersen said.

Borland was one of only two unanimous first-team picks by the coaches, along with defensive back Darqueze Dennard of Michigan State.

Also, Wisconsin senior receiver Jared Abbrederis was a consensus first-team selection for the second straight time.

Guard Ryan Groy made the coaches' first team, and the media's second squad.

Badger running backs Melvin Gordon and James White were both consensus picks to the all-Big Ten second team. Badgers' tackle Rob Havenstein was named to the media's second team, and was a coaches' honorable mention.

Consensus honorable mentions went to Wisconsin tight end Jacob Pedersen, tackle Tyler Marz, defensive end Pat Muldoon, nose guard Beau Allen and safety Dezmen Southward.

Quarterback Joel Stave, corner Sojourn Shelton and safety Michael Caputo were given honorable mentions by the media.

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