Posted November 06, 2013

Can Green Bay weather storm with Aaron Rodgers likely sidelined several weeks?

Green Bay Packers, NFC North
Aaron Rodgers suffered a fractured collarbone in the Packers' 27-20 loss to the Bears Monday night.

Aaron Rodgers (right) suffered a fractured collarbone in the Packers’ 27-20 loss to the Bears Monday night. (Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)

UPDATE (Wednesday, 12:15 p.m. ET): Fox Sports’ Mike Garafolo is reporting that Rodgers is expected to miss 4-6 weeks. “Fourth week tricky b/c T’giving game is 3.5 wks from injury,” he said.


Packers coach Mike McCarthy was noncommital on Aaron Rodgers’ injury late Monday night. “They don’t have an exact diagnosis,” he said. “That’s where we are.”

His players, either by virtue of having more information or of being more open with the news, sounded the alarm more directly. WR Jordy Nelson spoke of how Rodgers’ last injury, in 2010, “wasn’t as long as this possibly could be.” RB Eddie Lacy talked about the importance of an improved run game going forward in Rodgers’ absence.

The Packers received the verdict they feared Tuesday: a fractured collarbone for Rodgers, with a reported recovery time of three weeks or more.

Had Green Bay held off Chicago, perhaps there would be less mounting panic. The 27-20 setback, however, dropped the Packers to 5-3, in a three-way tie with the Bears and Lions for first place in the NFC North. The upcoming schedule is favorable for Green Bay: home vs. Philadelphia, at the Giants and home vs. Minnesota, before a Thanksgiving Day showdown in Detroit.

BURKE: Rodgers’ injury allows Bears to seal one on Monday night

With Rodgers, that may have been a 3-1 or 4-0 stretch. Now? Getting to 2-2 with Wallace or a yet-undetermined QB running the show is imperative.

“I don’t think it’s realistic to put anybody in there and think they’re going to pick up and run it the way he has run it,” said McCarthy of his offense sans Rodgers. “But it’s our job as coaches to make sure that Seneca is comfortable and put him into positions, put him into concepts that we can execute and be successful in.”

Wallace made an underwhelming initial impression Monday, throwing an interception and struggling to move the offense through the air. As McCarthy pointed out, though, Wallace sees as few first-team practice reps as possibly any quarterback in the league. The Packers count on Rodgers being on the field every week; they know they are in serious trouble if he is not.

As with any situation in which a backup is forced into duty, his play should improve as he has more time to work with the starting offense. Wallace, then, should at least be closer to his comfort zone next Sunday against a beatable Philadelphia defense.

Will that be enough?

“We’ve got to have confidence and know we can move the ball, and do the things we need to do regardless of who’s playing quarterback,” Wallace said. “[My teammates] looked at me and said ‘Let’s go,’ and I know I’ve got to go there and perform at a high level for them.”

He was unable to do that against Chicago, and had it not been for some big runs from Eddie Lacy and James Starks, the Packers may not have even been in the mix late.

Rodgers’ injury also comes just as the Bears expect Jay Cutler to return from his own ailment, and as the Lions’ schedule lightens up. Cutler is expected to suit up against Detroit in Week 10 — that and Thanksgiving against Green Bay are the only times Detroit plays a team at .500 or better from here out.

Green Bay’s hope is that Wallace can manage the game well enough to prevent a massive drop-off in Rodgers’ absence. Realistically, with other players like Jermichael Finley, Randall Cobb and others still out of the lineup, simply keeping pace in the NFC North will be a tough enough task.

“I think we’ll be fine,” Nelson said. “We trust Seneca. He has a proven track record and he’s been around the league long enough. We have all the faith in the world in him. … It’s just another opportunity for someone else in this locker room to step up.”

That the Packers, battered by those injuries, were 5-2 in the first place was a testament to Rodgers’ abilities. What happened in his absence Monday night may be a troubling omen of what’s to come.

Green Bay still has plenty to play for — and the talent to keep this train on the tracks. But replacing Rodgers for an extended period of time drops a taller hurdle in front of this team than it has seen in a long time.

25 comments
AndrewLynch
AndrewLynch

I just don't see how "Can Rodgers take this team with all the injuries to the promised land?" Which was last week, and the answer was yes, of course, they had a chance.  Just much more difficult without Finley, etc.  But now it's "Can Seneca Wallace take this team with all the injuries to the promised land?" and people are like, yeah, sure, good chance.

Melinda
Melinda

I never wish harm on anyone, however as a Bears fan I have to say buh-bye Packers!

jrz
jrz

Ponnnnnnn derrrrrrrrrrrr.  That'd pay back the Vikings for having the gall to sign Jennings.

anon76
anon76

Not sure Philly at home constitutes part of a favorable schedule.  The Green Bay Defense has been pretty weak this season, and Seneca Wallace + ground game is not the way to beat Philly when your defense is giving up as many yards as Green Bay.

UBERTAXTHERICH
UBERTAXTHERICH

Not sure if those XRays are correct. You better double check that my friend.

AustinRoth
AustinRoth

Life-long Bears fan here. While selfishly I am cannot pretend to be too broken up that Rogers will be out for a while, it is too bad. He is a great QB, and it is fun watching him play (except against the Bears)

As for everyone on both sides praising McCown and dissing Wallace, get real. How many times have we seen the backup come in, play lights out, then disappear (paging Mr. Flynn), or have a bad game when they come in unexpectedly in relief, then play well going forward.


Still half a season left. I hope Rodgers recovers and then does well, but that GB loses every remaining game, that Detroit tanks, and the Bears go to the playoffs as a division winner!

:)

Richard--Ramirez
Richard--Ramirez

lol this is great, now watch the packers fans scurry around like the rodents they are. Worst fanbase in the NFL and probably all of sport.

jkastar
jkastar

Just wait until a Favre or Tebow thread pops up somewhere.  It'll probably happen within 24 hours, and it will be the same recycled story that ran a couple weeks ago when Sam Bradford went down.  


DugoutBoyz
DugoutBoyz

He'll be out at least 6-8 weeks with a broken collarbone.


He's their franchise player.

FarmerJones
FarmerJones

Face it -- the Packers can't beat any decent team with Seneca Wallace behind center. McCown clearly out-played Wallace last night. THAT was THE difference in the game. 

Jules de la Zazette
Jules de la Zazette

Paging Matt Flynn .... Matt Flynn, we have a Ted Thompson holding on Line 1. Says it's urgent ...

Prezley
Prezley

@Melinda You can "buh-bye Packers but really.  Neither the Bears or Lions are going to take control.  The Packers have an excellent chance to be right in it by the time he gets back.  

Tom_Weiland
Tom_Weiland

@AustinRoth Wow... Thanks Bears fan!  Nice words from a respected rival.  Tired of all the haters out here.  Must be Minnesota fans.

JoeGrycowski
JoeGrycowski

@Richard--Ramirez You're an idiot if you think this is the worst fan base.  WHo else compares in passion for their team?  I can think of only Alabama football and the Red Sox fans.  Love or hate the Packers, we have an amazing fan base.  

Tom_Weiland
Tom_Weiland

@Jules de la Zazette I've heard worse ideas than a call to Flynn.  From what it sounds like, they're not sure if Tolzien is ready or not, even as a back-up.

Melinda
Melinda

@Prezley @Melinda I doubt it.  I can't say for certain what the Bears or Lions will do, but with him out 4-6 weeks I just can't see the Packers going anywhere.

Melinda
Melinda

@JoeGrycowski @Richard--Ramirez is right.  I have the misfortune to currently live in WI and I have never met a more rude, ignorant, arrogant and classless bunch.  Alabama fans have more class in their little pinky than any Packer fan.  

Dan79
Dan79

@JoeGrycowski Dude, not even worth your time. I live in Chicago. I get to hear Chicago sports fans jump ship immediately when their teams are doing poorly....Every year its "oh well, it's basketball season now anyway..etc. etc." It's a joke. No loyalty here whatsoever. Green Bay fans are the best.

RicardoDeLaPaz
RicardoDeLaPaz

@Melinda @JoeGrycowski @Richard--Ramirez Well Melinda talking smack to a Packer fan while you LIVE in Wisconsin is asking for trouble, its not rocket science us true Wisconsin native Packer fans stick together against filth like you.