The Packers’ playoff hopes take a humongous blow
About the only thing that is going right for the Packers today is that the Bears have no desire to beat the Patriots, because Green Bay’s season is currently hanging in the balance at Solider Field right now.
The Packers had a disastrous day in Detroit on Sunday, losing 7-3 to a Lions team that picked up its first divisional win in 19 straight tries. Things got started when Greg Jennings had a potential touchdown pass go off his hands in the first quarter and into the waiting arms of a Detroit defender, then quarterback Aaron Rodgers was knocked out of the game with a concussion in the second.
Things only got worse as Matt Flynn struggled to move the ball against Ndamukong Suh (otherwise known as the Detroit Lions defense) and even when he did, he threw an interception to linebacker DeAndre Levy in the end zone late in the third quarter to kill a potential scoring drive. (He also overthrew Greg Jennings on a 4th-and-1 at the Detroit 31-yard line to put the final nail in the coffin.)
But the Packers can’t pin the loss entirely on Flynn because the Packers didn’t produce any points when Rodgers was in either. And some of the blame for that falls on Mike McCarthy and his coaching staff, which decided to run the ball early and often instead of attacking the league’s worst secondary. I’m not sure what the Packers’ game plan was, but it clearly wasn’t to go after the Lions’ weakness.
Now Green Bay must hope Chicago loses to New England so that they don’t face a two-game deficit in the NFC North by the end of the day. As of this writing, the Bears are trailing the Patriots 21-0 and look completely hopeless, so the Packers’ season is still very much alive.
That said, they travel to New England next Sunday and there’s a good chance that Rodgers won’t be medically cleared to play. Unless Flynn can produce a miracle, the Packers will probably be home when the postseason starts.
But first things first: Chicago must lose to New England.
Aaron Rodgers may miss Week 6, Jermichael Finley out three weeks
The Packers received some bad news on Monday when it was announced that tight end Jermichael Finley would miss at least the next three weeks and could possibly be out six weeks after having surgery on his knee. Green Bay has a bye in Week 10, so that means Week 11 will likely be his return to action.
In other injury related news, head coach Mike McCarthy said that quarterback Aaron Rodgers will miss some practice time this week after suffering a concussion on the final offensive play in Green Bay’s 16-13 loss to the Redskins on Sunday. There’s a chance Rodgers could miss Week 6, although it’s too early to determine his playing status at this point.
One player who is certain to miss Week 6 is middle linebacker Nick Barnett, who will undergo wrist surgery on Wednesday. Once he has the surgery, the team will decide whether or not to place him on IR and effectively end his season.
The last bit of injury news for the Packers is that Clay Matthews hasn’t been ruled out of Week 6 after suffering a hamstring injury on Sunday. Again, the team won’t know his playing status until later in the week.
If Rodgers can’t play, Matt Flynn would start against the Dolphins on Sunday.
Report: Rodgers to play through foot injuries
According to a report by ESPN.com, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is hurting after Green Bay’s loss to the Vikings on Sunday, but expects to play this week with a sprain on one foot and a sprained toe on the other.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy says Rodgers could miss time in practice this week but is expected to play Sunday at Tampa Bay without hurting his mobility.
It’s been a long year for Rodgers. He has been sacked 31 times overall — worst in the NFL — including six by Minnesota on Sunday.
Rodgers was limping after the game but said he expected to be OK after a few days.
I’ve gained a lot of respect for Rodgers this season. The kid has been running for his life all year because of the Packers’ O-line issues and yet he’s never complained. And despite Jared Allen treating him like a rag doll, Rodgers has never once thrown one of his teammates under the bus.
I know he hasn’t proven that he can be a consistent winner, but I like Rodgers and think he could be a damn good player in the NFL.