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Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph Not Surprised by Packers' Decision Not to Play Aaron Rodgers

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Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph Not Surprised by Packers' Decision Not to Play Aaron Rodgers

After even the most remote of chances for the Green Bay Packers to sneak into the playoffs were put out of commission Monday night, it was no surprise that Aaron Rodgers was swapped back to injured reserve where he had made his bed for two months.

The Packers' quarterback returned briefly Sunday in Carolina from a broken right collarbone suffered in the Oct. 15 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. He returned solely to give the Packers a chance at winning their final three regular season games and sneaking into the playoffs at 10-6.

After their loss to the Panthers and the subsequent Atlanta Falcons win a day later, they were officially eliminated from playoff contention.

As a result, Rodgers was placed back on IR and quarterback Joe Callahan was re-signed to the active roster to take his place.

Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph wasn't surprised to see Rodgers' season reach its end.

"Not at all," Rudolph said according to Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "He did everything he could to come back to help his team make a playoff push, and now that that's not an option, it wouldn't make sense to put a future Hall of Famer out there if he's not healthy."

Rodgers' collarbone isn't expected to be entirely healed until six months after his surgery, which took place Oct. 19. The fact that he returned to play in week 15 isn't an indictment on team doctor Pat McKenzie, either.

The Packers had a significantly higher chance of winning with Rodgers as opposed to backup quarterback Brett Hundley, and now that said chance is moot, there's no purpose in Rodgers keeping a roster spot locked if he wasn't going to play. His desire to play was also a significant driving force behind his return to the field.

Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr is responsible for the hit that initially broke Rodgers' collarbone. Instead of getting his rematch with Rodgers -- at Lambeau Field this time around -- he'll see Hundley, who came in relief of Rodgers in the 23-10 week 6 loss. There could be some lingering emotion tied to the players who now get another chance to share the field with the same player who essentially sent the Packers' season in a downward spiral.

"From the years that I've been here, there hasn't been this much hate," said Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs. "But it shouldn't become anything as far as physical. I hope not. I hope there's still some class there. It's really unfortunate what happened. Nobody wants that for anybody, but it was how many weeks ago? Hopefully, they move past it."

The Vikings, currently nine-point road favorites this week, could clinch a first-round bye with a win in Green Bay and a Panthers loss or tie. They're already fresh off of winning the NFC North on Sunday.

__________________________

Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at jacobsonzach14@gmail.com.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (10) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Malland56's picture

This isn't about story but I want to say it anyway. Let CALLAHAN play in the last 2 games. I would really like to see him out play Hundly like I know he can.

The TKstinator's picture

A true fan never gives up on his or her team’s playoff hopes, no matter how “mathematically eliminated” the team is.

Turophile's picture

Oh dear, I'm not a true fan. I knew it was almost certainly over weeks back, and resigned myself to not seeing the Pack in postseason.

It's like the lottery. Some people don't worry about the odds, they just hope they will win and buy a ticket. Others calculate the odds (roughly) and decide they aren't worth playing.

The TKstinator's picture

(I was being sarcastic.)

Nick Perry's picture

"From the years that I've been here, there hasn't been this much hate," said Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs. "But it shouldn't become anything as far as physical. I hope not. I hope there's still some class there"

Go F yourself Diggs. You hope there's still some class HERE? This coming from a player in the organization who's had a player "Moon" the fans at Lambeau after a TD or a LB who grabbed his crotch after knocking Rodgers out. You idiots are the team that's NEVER won a thing, NOTHING! If anything the Packers are MUCH to passive in most cases. Your lucky they don't have more players on the team with my mentality because I'd go for the knockout every single play for 60 minutes. Knee, head, neck, whatever, it wouldn't matter to me as long as your either carried or limping off the field.

Razer's picture

Nick, Nick ... here's a Snickers.

packerbackerjim's picture

Dilly Dilly!

Finwiz's picture

Thanks for the post Nick. Saved me some time having to write it myself.

Finwiz's picture

Who gives a crap what Kyle Rudolph thinks?

TXCHEESE's picture

Not down on Rudolph or Diggs, but here's hoping Barr and Thomas Davis both blow their knees out this weekend.

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