Aaron Rodgers has been cleared to return from a left collarbone injury, just in time to start Sunday for the Packers against the Chicago Bears in a game to decide the NFC North title.

With no warning and little fanfare, the franchise quarterback received the long-awaited good news at the same time as the rest of his teammates Thursday.

"This is a fun day for me, but I think the focus needs to be on this game and the opportunity we have to win the division," Rodgers said.

Soon enough. But the spotlight for now is squarely on the return of one of the NFL's most irreplaceable players.

Green Bay (7-7-1) is 2-5-1 since Rodgers went down during the first series of a 27-20 loss Nov. 4 to Chicago. The Packers have managed to hang on, with a shot to win a third straight division title with a victory Sunday at Soldier Field.

Win and Green Bay returns to Lambeau Field the following weekend to host a wild-card team in the first round of the playoffs.

Bears players are not counting on Rodgers playing tentatively because of the injury.

"I don't expect him to run as much, but he is a threat coming out of the backfield," Bears cornerback Tim Jennings told the Chicago Tribune. "He's going to take what the defense gives him, so if we are playing deep and there's no one in front of him, I expect for him to run the ball."

The Bears, who are coming off a 54-11 thrashing Sunday in Philadelphia, also likely will have to deal with the return of receiver/kick returner Randall Cobb (leg). And rookie running back Eddie Lacy (ankle) is expected to play. The Packers average 131.7 rushing yards per game, seventh in the NFL.

Lions: Detroit put tight end Dorin Dickerson on injured reserve, four days after he didn't immediately tell the team's medical staff he had a concussion during a game against the New York Giants.

Dickerson recalled getting injured on a kickoff during the second half. He later dropped a pass and was called for holding in overtime of Sunday's 23-20 loss to the Giants.

"I just got knocked out," Dickerson told reporters after the game. "I just got a little concussion. I should have reported it. I thought I could get through it."

  • Carlin Isles, a member of the United States rugby sevens team, signed as a wide receiver on the Lions practice squad after trying out with the team earlier this week.

    Isles ran the 40-yard dash in 4.22 seconds during his workout with the team this week, according to the Detroit Free Press.

    "You're looking for athletes," Lions coach Jim Schwartz said. "It hasn't been unusual to see basketball players transition to the NFL, and it's not just recently; that goes way back. ... An athlete's an athlete, and there are skills you can develop, and if you see something that you like, then you can work with him."

    Isles played football and ran track at Ashland (Ohio) University, a Division II school, before moving to rugby.

    Dubbed by RugbyMag.com as "the fastest man in American rugby," Isles became a YouTube sensation playing rugby because of his speed.

    ACL injuries decrease: ACL injuries are down, the NFL has told its Health and Safety Advisory Committee, which is chaired by 49ers owner John York.

    In a memo to the committee sent earlier this week and obtained by The Associated Press, the league said research showed there were 30 ACL injuries in games through the preseason and first 13 weeks of the schedule. There were 39 such injuries in 2012, 35 in 2011, 37 in 2010, and 31 in 2009.

    Anterior cruciate ligament problems are the most severe knee injuries.

    Seahawks: Entering the season finale against St. Louis, Seattle is on pace to set an NFL record for fewest punt return yards allowed in a 16-game season. The Seahawks have allowed only 25 punt return yards on 16 returns this season. The record for a 16-game season is 49 yards by Atlanta in 2008.

    Cowboys: Wide receiver Dez Bryant says he will play in a winner-take-all finale against Philadelphia despite missing practice because of a persistent back problem.

    ESPN.com contributed to this report.