Earlier in the day on Friday, we brought you word that Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers would likely miss the team’s Week 16 game with the Pittsburgh Steelers, but with two words in Tweet form, the team made it official.
Final injury report: Rodgers out
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) December 20, 2013
The absence of Rodgers is (obviously) a huge blow to Green Bay, simply because this is an absolute must-win for the team. The Packers are currently 7-6-1 and trailing the 8-6 Chicago Bears in the NFC North standings, and while being without Rodgers doesn’t bar them from winning against the Steelers, they are a completely different outfit with Matt Flynn under center.
For proof of Rodgers’ value, we can take a brief look at the numbers. He is currently in the top-5 in the NFL in both ESPN QBR’s and the “standard” quarterback rating, and although the team has won the past two games, they did so merely in spite of Matt Flynn rather than because of him. Pittsburgh’s defense hasn’t been the dominant unit of past seasons, but they seem to be peaking at the right time in pursuit of their own playoff spot, and Flynn (with his 25.2 QBR) is in for a big-time challenge.
It remains to be seen whether Rodgers could be available in Week 17, but if Green Bay doesn’t win on Sunday, it won’t matter toward the 2013 playoffs.