GREEN BAY, Wis. -- While saying Aaron Rodgers feels ready to play, coach Mike McCarthy it was tough to break the news to him that he wouldn't be taking snaps on Sunday.
"Hey, it's not the easiest thing to sit there and tell your franchise quarterback he can't play in the game when he wants to play in the game," McCarthy said after practice Friday. "This is clearly a decision that's made in the best interest of Aaron Rodgers."
Rodgers has been sidelined since he broke collarbone early in Green Bay's loss to the Chicago Bears on Nov. 4.
Rodgers practiced on a limited basis this week and even took some reps with the first-string offense in team drills Wednesday and Thursday.
But still not enough to apparently sway the decision to have him play in a critical game for the Packers. This will be the sixth straight game Rodgers misses.
"Frankly, it's been a difficult morning going through the conversation with Aaron and (team) Doctor (Pat) McKenzie," McCarthy said. "(Rodgers) feels like he's ready to play. He's had a good week of preparation. (But) he did very little today.
"He's very disappointed. He's frustrated. But speaking with Doctor McKenzie, this is the right decision."
Matt Flynn will make his third straight start in place of Rodgers as the Packers (6-6-1) try to stay in contention for the NFC North title with three games left. They are a half game behind division co-leaders Detroit and Chicago, both 7-6.
Flynn rallied Green Bay from a halftime deficit of 11 points to a 22-21 win over Atlanta last Sunday, snapping the Packers' five-game winless streak.
"I thought Matt had his best practice today of the two weeks of full preparation," McCarthy said. "Yesterday was not our best practice as a football team, but I thought Matt Flynn was very sharp today, and he obviously took all of the reps."
McCarthy has repeatedly announced since Rodgers resumed practicing before the Thanksgiving loss at Detroit on Nov. 28 that what has kept the quarterback from playing again is that he hasn't been medically cleared.
NOTES: Rookie RB Eddie Lacy (ankle) practiced Friday for the first time this week. Though limited in practice, the team's leading rusher is probable for Sunday's game. "Eddie Lacy will be ready to play Sunday," McCarthy said. Lacy suffered a sprained right ankle at the end of the first half of the last game but returned to action in the third quarter and finished the game. Lacy said Friday he no longer was in a walking boot he used most of the week. . Also returning to practice were LBs Brad Jones (ankle) and Jamari Lattimore (knee) and DE/LB Mike Neal (abdomen). All are probable for Sunday. That's good news for the Packers, who were down to A.J. Hawk as their only inside linebacker late in the game against the Falcons after Jones and Lattimore were injured in a span of three plays.