Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers will not play in the Pro Bowl this season because of injury, the Oakland Raiders announced Wednesday.
The Packers also confirmed the news.
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr will replace Rodgers, who was voted to his fifth Pro Bowl this season. Rodgers had a subpar season compared to his normal standards, completing a career-low 60.7 percent of his passes for 3,821 yards, 31 touchdowns and eight interceptions. His 92.7 passer rating was also the lowest since he became a starter in 2008.
Maybe an injury could help explain Rodgers' struggles this season. Or it could be an excuse to not play in the Pro Bowl, something veterans have been known to do. Rodgers did not play in the Pro Bowl last year because of a strained calf that hindered him in the season's final month.
Either way, coach Mike McCarthy said he was pleased with how Rodgers handled adversity this season.
"I tell you, this is the most adversity he had to play through probably since ’08," McCarthy said, referencing the first season Rodgers started for the Packers. "In the picture of things, sitting down and visiting with him (Monday), I thought he did a heck of a job dealing with that. Aaron, he’s that great player that plays at such a high level, the competition is usually with himself trying not to do too much, and I think he was really challenged this year more than ever with what he was trying to pick up for with Jordy (Nelson out) and so forth.
"I thought he handled the adversity of all the things around him very well."
While Rodgers' numbers were still good overall, Carr's production was arguably greater. Carr, making his first Pro Bowl trip, had a higher completion percentage (61.7) as well as more yards (3,987) and touchdowns (32). He also had more interceptions (13). His 91.1 rating was also lower.
Of course, Carr benefited from throwing the football to Amari Cooper, a young, star-in-the-making receiver. Without Jordy Nelson, Rodgers didn't have a receiving weapon like that this season.