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Packers officially activate QB Rodgers

The Green Bay Packers officially activated quarterback Aaron Rodgers off injured reserve Saturday ahead of the team traveling for Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers.

Rodgers is now officially cleared to make his much-anticipated return as the Packers (7-6) cling to playoff hopes in a test against the Panthers (9-4).

"We're not going to go to Carolina with a bunch of false confidence," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said earlier this week of Rodgers' return. "We understand the impact that Aaron Rodgers makes for our football team and, hell, the impact he'd make for anybody's football team. He's a great player. He's an impact player. We're in a position that we're in. We're 7-6. We clearly understand what's on the line here."

To clear a spot on the roster, the Packers reportedly released third-string quarterback Joe Callahan, who had been backing up Brett Hundley while Rodgers was on IR with a broken right collarbone.

Rodgers missed seven games and underwent surgery to repair his broken right clavicle in a Week 6 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

The Packers went 3-4 in Rodgers' absence with Brett Hundley serving as the quarterback.

In six games this season, Rodgers completed 128 of 193 passes (66.3 percent) for 1,385 yards with 13 touchdowns and three interceptions. He was the NFL's MVP in 2011 and 2014, and he led the Packers to the Super Bowl XLV title after the 2010 season.

"It's going to take getting out there, getting that first pass, getting that first hit," Rodgers said this week. "And I'll probably settle in."