Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers stated before the team’s embarrassing loss to the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving that he expects to play next week against the Atlanta Falcons, but it sounds like Rodgers was getting ahead of himself. According to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Packers were indeed initially targeting next week’s game against the Falcons as Rodgers’s return date for quite some time, but a source now tells Rapoport that Rodgers would “be lucky” to play next week.
That makes Rodgers a longshot to play against the Falcons, and I’m honestly not surprised to hear this report from Rapoport. The Falcons game is a winnable one for the Packers, because the Falcons are in dire straits with an awful offensive line and a defense that is even more incompetent than the Packers. If the Packers can’t win against the Falcons without Rodgers, then they are honestly just not good enough to try and compete this year. That sounds like a statement that’s far too critical, but there’s simply no point in even risking the slightest collarbone aggravation to a player who is insanely crucial (seriously, the Packers seem to be nothing without him) to the team’s success. If they can’t beat an awful Falcons team with Matt Flynn or Scott Tolzien at the helm, then they aren’t going to make the playoffs mathematically and wouldn’t even be a good enough team to do anything in the playoffs if they were somehow in it.
As a matter of fact, the Packers chances of even making the playoffs would still be incredibly slim even if they win. They would still need to win out and then hope for a few other things to fall into place for them. It’s best to make sure that Aaron Rodgers is at 100%, and that’s exactly what the Packers are doing here.
I certainly wouldn’t rule out a return from Rodgers next week, but I also wouldn’t bet on it at all. He will most likely miss next week’s game, and it’s all up to the rest of this Packers team; they can’t afford to turn in yet another awful performance. If the Packers lose to the Falcons, then they will be immediately eliminated from playoff contention and will obviously allow Rodgers to rest for the remainder of the regular season. Keep a close eye out for all updates regarding Rodgers’s status, since there will likely be more reports as the week rolls on.