Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) throws during the third quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. The Packers defeated the Vikings 44-31. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Rodgers not practicing, fully expected to be out, more on injury outlook

Green Bay Packers star quarterback Aaron Rodgers is definitely the key to the Packers playoff hopes, and words cannot describe just how important he is to this team. If you think Peyton Manning is crucial to the Denver Broncos success (he obviously is), then Rodgers’s importance is almost unfathomable. His receivers are plenty talented, but they aren’t quite as good as Manning’s. Beyond that, he’s shown that he can still produce at a high level despite injuries to those guys and also doesn’t have the benefit of having a good defense behind them. The Broncos defense is one of the more talented units in the game, whereas the Packers defense (mostly the terrible secondary, as the front seven looks solid) rarely holds up its end of the bargain (and people wonder why “Rodgers wins” less close games).

So all injury updates regarding Rodgers are going to be dissected, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with closely monitoring injury updates on one of the best players in the game. The Packers are still definitely in the playoff hunt, but they will need Rodgers to be healthy sooner rather than later for that to happen. Scott Tolzien looks like a nice backup behind Rodgers for the foreseeable future, but he’s too unprepared and interception-prone to start for a playoff contender. The Packers can survive with a couple of more starts out of Tolzien, but that might be just about it due to the play of the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears. If the Packers want to make the playoffs, then they will most likely have to win their division, since topping the San Francisco 49ers or Carolina Panthers for the final wild card spot will be no easy feat.

According to ESPN NFL Nation’s Rob Demovsky, Aaron Rodgers was unsurprisingly not at practice today, which means that he is fully expected to be ruled out this week. His status for next week’s Thanksgiving game on a short week against the rival Detroit Lions looks unlikely. It’s a crucial game for the Packers to win, but it isn’t worth pushing their best player hard for. That may seem weird to say, but collarbone injuries are significant and even thinking about risking an elite QB’s health is never a good idea.

If Rodgers is to play on Thursday next week, he will need to practice on Tuesday to start the week. Quarterbacks absolutely have to have ample practice time in order to play, so that’s something to keep in mind. Because of that, I don’t expect Rodgers to play until December (the Packers first game next month is against the Atlanta Falcons on the 8th), but I also think that if Tolzien implodes against a horrific Vikings secondary, the Packers might be more inclined to “push” Rodgers.

Tags: Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers Injury Report Scott Tolzien

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