Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Packers can’t afford to rush Aaron Rodgers back vs. Bears

If there was a better time for Green Bay Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers to make his return to the gridiron, then I truly don’t know when it would be.

This weekend, Week 17 of the 2013 season, Green Bay must head down to Chicago to face the 8-7 Bears in a game that will mean everything for the NFC North. Despite the fact that the Packers are 5-2-1 in their past eight games without Rodgers, miraculously enough; they can win the North by beating the Bears.

As far as the Bears are concerned, despite the fact that they’ve gone 4-4 since their bye week, they too can win the NFC North with a win.

It’s a winner take all situation, and for the Packers, it would seem as if it’s the week they need Rodgers the most. After all, no win means no playoffs.

Last week before the Steelers game it sure seemed like Packers nation was gearing up for Rodgers’ return, and for the most part, the Packers were giving off those vibes. Mike McCarthy said Rodgers was looking very good in practice, and even though he wasn’t cleared to play, the outlook seemed positive.

Earlier this week it was reported that Rodgers wasn’t actually that close to returning though, and his collarbone still showed “extraordinary risk“. If that was truly the case, then I wouldn’t expect just a few more days to take that risk from “extraordinary” to “ready to play the most physical sport on the planet”.

This is the Packers’ franchise quarterback we’re talking about, mind you. His collarbone injury doesn’t just impact this season, but it has the potential to impact next year and seasons after that as well. If the Packers mismanage this and Rodgers’ collarbone doesn’t truly heal, we could be talking about how one of the greatest quarterbacks in the NFL was stifled by an injury, rather than a great bounce back season in 2014. Or even a great playoff run if that extra week is what he needs to be 100 percent.

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

There’s a lot on the line this weekend for the Packers, but I firmly believe that if Matt Flynn takes care of the football and the Packers rely on the running game; the Bears are a team they can beat. Once the NFC North is won and the playoff hunt begins, that’s when you can have a serious discussion about padding Rodgers up and getting him on the field. If the Packers don’t end up beating the Bears, that gives Rodgers the whole offseason to heal, and at the very least the Packers didn’t compound the problem.

Rushing a player back from injury is arguably the worst thing you can do in the NFL, and in this case, the Packers can’t afford to take the risk.

Tags: Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers Matt Flynn Mike McCarthy NFC North

  • Peter Maiz

    I totally disagree. Rushing Rodgers back on the field would have been 2 weeks ago, not for next Sunday. This coming Sunday, he will literally be days away from the 8 weeks it takes for a collarbone to heal. Actually, the time for a collarbone fracture to heal is 6 to 8 weeks. For him to injure the collarbone again are slim, especially if the bone has healed. If Green Bay really wants to win it’s division(?) it would help if Rodgers were on the field. However, MM and TT realize that with the defense they’re fielding, the playoffs would go absolutely nowhere. So my feeling is that the Green Bay organization aren’t too concerned if they make the playoffs. When a defense allows 38 points, it’s highly unlikely you’re going to win. Flynn is playing well and Lacy has an ankle injury. So there are really no guarantees for Chicago. I really believe that winning the division is no longer a big issue at Green Bay.

    • WoW

      Wow are you kidding….

    • PACK1996

      In all fairness the Defense only gave up 24 points in that game, You can credit the other 14 to Matt Flynn. The defense was ranked 11th in the league when Rodgers was the QB, That’s not a coincidence that once Rodgers got injured they really started to fall apart. Aaron makes everyone around him better including the defense. If he comes back and they get in the playoffs they could absolutely go somewhere with Aaron at QB.

    • PACK1996

      Not to mention the defense played well considering that they forced 6 Punts and several field goals. The defense has been playing pretty well when it matters. And when I mean it matters I mean like the SECOND half of the Dallas game.

  • JaKa

    Aaron Rodgers is by far the Packers leading commodity of the Green Bay Packers. With solid gold diamonds, with Green dollars surrounding Wisconsin, he leads the Packers Nation. This nation and team personnel are up on their decisions to protect their investment, protectiion of his talent are what matters, not Rodgers himself, rather the ability to win games are the main considerations. Had he been a middle of the road type, he’d be back in 4 – 6 weeks, because that is when the bones make a noticeable bonds The insurance company’s has stats on healing for any kind of injury and they do not shed light between the cracks, or leave any detail upturned.

    The “history” of the kind of injury, showing changes in ability to perform, re-injury, severity of further trauma, along with a pile of other data are put into computers (these days) to show. What was found several weeks into 12′s recovery is the re-injury of this type of injury can and does result in severe problems, including permanent disabled use of limbs and/or permanent severe & chronic pain are some of the things another “pop” a helmet traveling 39 mph on a goon, with crap in the helmet would do. The history of another injury on top of the amount healed would pose those exact accidental symptom and physical traumas mentioned for Rodgers. That’s a tough one to take. In other words: The same hit could nearly kill him and certainly put him at a very high percentile, somewhere around 85% to not only suffer the symptoms, but face nearly the same percentage of being permanently disabled, which in turn would end his career. The hit could happen again and is likely to do so somewhere down the road, as Aaron continues playing. A complete bond takes almost a year, and, he would then be on a differnent chart of statistics, which are much more positive and beneficial for his ability to heal again and return again. Should he re-injure now, it’s likely he”d go down for good. Now then; Play Rodgers or let him sit?