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Packers Rally the Troops in Aaron Rodgers' Absence

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Packers Rally the Troops in Aaron Rodgers' Absence

The tension built all week in Green Bay as it appeared Aaron Rodgers had at least a chance of playing in Sunday's game against the Dallas Cowboys, now six weeks removed from a broken collarbone suffered back in early November.

Packers head coach Mike McCarthy let the air out of the balloon Friday afternoon, however, after the team officially declared him out of its Week 15 game.

"Frankly, it's been a difficult morning going through the conversation with Aaron and Dr. McKenzie," said McCarthy. "He feels like he's ready to play. He's had a good week of preparation. He did very little today.

"He's very disappointed. He's frustrated. But speaking with Dr. McKenzie, this is the right decision."

While Rodgers did undergo a medical evaluation on Friday morning, he did not have another scan on his collarbone, and ultimately the organization decided they couldn't take the risk of Rodgers being exposed to further injury.

"It's not the easiest thing to sit there and tell your franchise quarterback he can't play in the game," said McCarthy. "This is clearly a decision that's made in the best interests of Aaron Rodgers."

So the Packers enter Sunday's contest with Matt Flynn as their starting quarterback for a third consecutive week. And even though the Packers don't have their preferred player behind center, the circumstances facing the team remain the same.

The Packers are on the outside of the playoff picture looking in as they hope to win as many games as possible with three games left in the season, and likewise hope that the Detroit Lions lose at least once more in order to win the NFC North division crown.

"We'd love to see (Rodgers) out there, but we have a lot of confidence in Matt," said center Evan Dietrich-Smith. "He's been gaining confidence since he's been here, and we're going to go out there and win with the guys that we've got."

Since signing with the Packers as a free agent before the Week 12 game against the Minnesota Vikings, Flynn entered that game in relief of backup Scott Tolzien and led the Packers to a tie.

In the next two weeks, Flynn had a rough game in a blowout loss to the Detroit Lions and then directed the Packers to their first win since Rodgers was injured last week against the Atlanta Falcons.

Green Bay will be looking to carry some of that momentum into Dallas against a team that's in much the same boat, looking to improve its standing in the race for a playoff berth.

"We know they're talented," said Flynn. "We know they're at home. Their backs are against the wall a little bit, and we know they're going to come out swinging, so we expect them to come out fast with that home crowd behind them and play well."

Comments (34)

bryce's picture

Fly the white flag, stick Rodgers on the shelf for the year. We're done, folks.

jack in jersey city's picture

hold on, hold on! you must remember one thing: we're in the same division as the lions and bares ;) it ain't over yet!

TommyG's picture

What are you, a redskins fan? Go somewhere else.

ZeroTolerance's picture

Farve plays with a broken thumb on his throwing hand, and does not miss a start. Rodgers has a hairline fracture, and though wants to play, is shut down by the team. Is this what today's NFL has become? Wow.

ZeroTolerance's picture

Favre - it's been a while since I typed it.

WKUPackFan's picture

Big difference between a broken thumb and collarbone, even if it is a hairline fracture. AR came back quickly from two concussions. There should be no question of his toughness.

murphy's picture

I'm getting really curious about what the "interest" is that they are trying to protect.

Football is an unpredictable and dangerous sport. Rodgers could come back next season with a 100% healed bone and [verb] his [noun] on the first play of the year. Would giving up on this season be worth it then, when there's still any chance left?

I understand that the staff is looking out for the future of the franchise, but Rodgers isn't getting any younger.

If there's still a prayer of playoffs and he says he can go, let the man play. Aaron Rodgers at 90% gives the Pack a better chance to win than Flynn at 100%. 90% of the game is half mental, and all that.

Does no one remember Phillip Rivers playing an AFC Championship game with a torn knee? He wasn't great, but he was still head and shoulders above backup caliber.

Stroh's picture

Tend to agree. Think Rodgers should be allowed to play if he choses and thinks he is healthy enough. Some risk of re-injury, but the reward is definitely worth it IMO.

4thand1's picture

Watching the press coverage, MM seemed really pissed. I don't think there would be any backlash if he said,"Rodgers is starting." if he got reinjured. He reads defenses as well as anyone and would give them a huge lift. The Packers should activate him and at least give the Cowboys something to worry about.

fish and crane's picture

The only way Favre was able to play with a broken thumb is because he also had a screw loose. - I was a former trainer.

SOL's picture

The reason the good Dr. (sarcasm) didn't release Rodgers is due to liability concerns. Plain and simple he doesn't want to be part of the lawsuits since he has to ink his name. So he's going with the ultra conservative approach. The real question: Is Murphy & Thompson behind the Dr.? Or is the Dr. swinging alone on this one?

Steven's picture

The only way we win this game is if lacy tears in up out there and our defense steps up and is aggresive

jack in jersey city's picture

i'm pretty sure the first part of your equation will happen. the jury is out on the defensive part of it

phillythedane's picture

Damn doctors. They just don't know what they're talking about. same with those damn coaches and GM's.

MadJam's picture

Ha! +1

Michael Lee's picture

They might as well sit him until next year were not making the playoffs if he's not playing in Dallas!

Calabasa's picture

You want to put him behind OUR O-line? Actually they'd probably play their best game...

Tarynfor12's picture

If the Packers lose Sunday,I cannot help but sense there will be some serious issues rising from this decision...especially if Detroit loses to Balt......'Trouble in Paradise'.

SCFPackFan's picture

If Detroit loses to Baltimore, we're still in the hunt, win or loss. Not sure why everyone is freaking out about this decision with our franchise QB. He'll play when he's healed enough to prevent re-injury.

Al Katraz's picture

My take is they have a doctor who is either on the payroll or under contract. Regardless, put yourself in the doctors seat. You say X isn't ready to play and they play X anyways, then why do they need you?
The doctor can either say all ready to go, not ready to go, or the guy is marginal you make the call.
Either way the team has to listen to the doctor and go by his recommendations. Again, if not, why have a doctor at all.
Also, keep in mind, these guys are unionist. Team makes a bad decision, said guy gets seriously re injured and all hell breaks loose, here come da lawyers. Better safe than sorry rue's the day now.

4thand1's picture

The player should sign a waiver removing the team from any liability. If he REALLY wants to play, let him. Let the dam lawyers work it out. Get him on the f-ing field.

cheesewhizzer's picture

It's reassuring to know that Dr. McKenzie is the most powerful man now in the Packer organization. Move over president, general manager and obviously pissed off head coach. You are no longer important...you are all impotent. The fear of all doctors of lawsuits rules the day. Lombardi is rolling in his grave at this very moment.

cLowNEY42's picture

Now we're attacking doctors.
Awesome.

Here's a crazy thought.
Maybe...

1. The bone's not fully healed.
2. The Doc laid out the situation along with the risks involved.
3. MM made the tough a call in the interest of his $100+ million franchise defining player.

Seems pretty clear-cut to me.
And I'm irrational more often than I'm rational.

4thand1's picture

Stop it, you're confusing me.

The TKstinator's picture

And a La-X grad.

steven's picture

Eddie lacy stat predictions? Mine : 175 rushing. 3 tds 14 recieving yards. We need it to win.

cLowNEY42's picture

Starks will be the game's leading rusher (both teams) with 87 yards.

RunAndHyde's picture

Starks 98 demarco 115 lacy 45 ...JWitt leading rcvr for both teams with 110 yrds.

Horse's picture

Remember when "Backup Aaron Rodgers said he didn't know how he broke his left foot in the third quarter of Sunday's game against New England and thought he was just feeling sorry for himself because of his poor performance.

Rodgers had replaced Favre, who hurt his elbow earlier in the game, but is expected to return in time for Monday night's game at Seattle.

Rodgers' injury requires surgery, which he said will likely include placing a screw in his foot." AR finished the game.

I wonder how many people who want everyone fired and/or that creampuff Rodgers IR'd own AR in a fantasy league and are pissed about their $40.

RunAndHyde's picture

We won't go quietly into the night!!! Go pack go!! House a pick SAMMY BOYYYYYY!!

Wenis's picture

You gotta love how McCarthy pitched a hissy fit when questioned about the teams intentions with Rodgers. What an arrogant putz!

steven's picture

Lacy!!! 60 yarder says hes plenty fast enough

The TKstinator's picture

Especially for a guy who runs as hard as he does.

Morgan Mundane's picture

Win over D or not I sure like to know how we can rush five and six and still not get to the QB when other teams playing 4-3 do a fine job of it. I think the Ketchum was correct, Ted doesn't want the 4-3 because you have to pay def ends a ton on money these days. So were going on the cheap, and its putting money in the bank but no QB's on their arse.

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