The status of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers remains as murky as it’s ever been following a myriad of media reports on Sunday.
Earlier in the day, NFL Network reported Rodgers would be “lucky” to play this Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons as he rehabs his broken collarbone.
Furthermore, if the Packers were to lose to the Falcons and slip out of the playoff picture, the team might consider shutting down Rodgers for the remainder of the year.
In a tongue-in-cheek response via text message to ESPN Wisconsin, Rodgers said: “I don't plan on playing 'til I'm 30.” He celebrates his 30th birthday on Monday, but added his fractured left collarbone hasn’t been examined since before Thanksgiving break.
Rodgers said last month that shutting it down “is not my personality. I don’t want to do that,” but it might not be his choice. Later on Sunday, ESPN reported his collarbone will be re-examined this week and it would “take a strong consensus from doctors and the team’s hierarchy to return” against the Falcons.
The storyline took an additional turn on Sunday night when Rodgers reportedly told Fox Sports Los Angeles “I'll be back and ready to go Sunday.” Rodgers was attending an NBA game between the Clippers and Indiana Pacers.
So take all that for what it’s worth. Packers coach Mike McCarthy will speak to the media at approximately 4:45 p.m. Central Time on Monday.
What is known is the Packers haven’t won without Rodgers. Green Bay is 0-4-1 since he broke his collarbone on the opening series against Chicago on Nov. 4. This Sunday against Atlanta, it will have been 34 days since he sustained the injury.
An NFL orthopedist told Press-Gazette Media’s Pete Dougherty this weekend they would prefer to take a minimum of eight weeks with fractured collarbones, but added they hadn’t seen Rodgers’ X-ray.
If team doctors side with caution, the Packers would turn to either Matt Flynn or Scott Tolzien against the 3-9 Falcons, who snapped a five-game losing streak with a 34-31 overtime win over Buffalo on Sunday.
With Minnesota beating Chicago 23-20 in overtime on Sunday, the Packers remain a ½ game behind the 6-6 Bears and 1½ games behind the NFC North-leading Detroit (7-5).