Aaron Rogers has now been off the field with a fractured collarbone since he incurred the injury on the first play against the Chicago Bears in week 10. The NFC North is as tight a division as can be, with the Chicago Bears and the Detroit Lions both tied for first with a 7-6 record. The Packers are in second, with a 6-6 record; only a half a game behind the current leaders. There are three games left in the regular season, and with the NFC as competitive a conference as it is, winning the division, especially in a weak division, is about as important as can be to make it to the playoffs.
The Packers, since Rodgers’ collarbone injury, have started three quarterbacks in his place: Scott Tolzien, Seneca Wallace (out for rest of season), and signed Matt Flynn, a very very mediocre quarterback who lost his starting job to Russell Wilson last year on the Seahawks, and now has bounced around teams as a backup since. The Packers have only managed to tie a game since Rodgers has gone down, and that was to the Minnesota Vikings. All things considered, with how the division is shaping up to be, and the playoff picture getting hazier, Green Bay making it to the playoffs has a lot of implications for the team as a whole, and many decisions need to be made. Among these questions are:
Do the Packers need Rodgers in order to have a playoff berth?
Is it wise to bring back Rodgers so quickly after a substantial injury?
Does his coming back risk a more severe injury down the line, and will it affect his career with the Packers?
Is it worth it to just tank the rest of the season and just look to next season?
All of these are valid questions. Rodgers has not been cleared to play by the team’s medical staff. Even if he was, over the past five years, Rodgers has been the most sacked quarterback in football. Despite the injury being on his left side, his non-throwing arm, that’s also his weak side. Even if his collarbone is fully healed, if he gets tackled on his left side, it could re-fracture the bone. More to the point, with how competitive the NFC is, it’s hard to say whether or not the Packers would even do well in the playoffs. The offense and defense are both riddled with injuries. Bringing Rodgers back has numerous implications for his career with Green Bay, in that it could be a short one if he continues to sustain injuries like these. It seem to me that tanking the rest of the season and picking up a decent pick in the draft would do wonders for our defense, since this year’s college draftees have some of the best defensive players in the last five years.
We need Rodgers going forward for years to come. He’s still young, and is one of the best quarterbacks in the league. He got us a superbowl ring, and got us close to others. With how long he’s been out, and how severe the injury is, it’s not too much of a disappointment to tank and plan for next season.
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