Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Rodgers likely out for Packers vs. Pats

OK. Let's be clear. This is NOT an official statement of any kind by the Green Bay Packers about their starting quarterback. It is purely speculation by yours truly -- and not a few media pundits -- that Aaron Rodgers will be not be available when the Pack meets the New England Patriots on Sunday night. The Packers, officially, are saying that no final decision on Rodgers' status will be made until Saturday.

What leads us to the conclusion regarding Rodgers' availability is that he has not been at meetings so far this week and did not even participate in a walk-through today at practice. Sports reporters noted that with Rodgers' earlier concussion in October he was at meetings and did attend the Wednesday practice. Apparently, the advice he is getting is to do nothing but allow the recovery to occur without doing anything to jeopardize himself.

So, given that, it's not looking good for Sunday,

Of course, playing New England on their home field, where the Patriots have not lost since 2008, by the way, is not easy under the best of circumstances. The Pats are red hot and have beat the bejeesus out of the their last two opponents, the Jets and Da Bearz, two ostensibly bound playoff teams. For the Packers, the injury to Rodgers is just a capper on what has a been a season filled with injuries to key personnel. The fact that the Pack has done as well as they have under these circumstances -- and without players or coaches making any excuses to the contrary -- is really a tribute to the entire team. But it might just be, with three games left in the season, that it's all just finally starting to catch up with them.

We should likely be looking for backup Matt Flynn to be under center come Sunday. It's not a sure thing, but it seems likely at this point. Practice squad QB Graham Harrell might be activated for the game. If something happened to Flynn, and if Harrell is not active, the emergency QB would be WR Jordy Nelson. One would figure Harrell will get the call-up for this weekend.

There are other walking-wounded for the Packers as well, whose availability and impact even if available is questionable. No need to review those here at this time. We'll see where everything is nearer game time.

For now, let's just hope Rodgers gets better in his own time and doesn't put his health at risk in trying to come back too quickly from his concussion. Of course, there are systems in place that make sure that doesn't happen until he really is ready from a medical standpoint. Having Rodgers around for years to come is more important to the Packers than having him available for a game which, frankly, would probably go in the loss column regardless given all the other circumstances involved.