Have we seen the final of Aaron Rodgers this season?

Studies surfaced earlier on Sunday that the damage to Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ thumb is much worse than beforehand thought.

Rodgers initially injured his throwing thumb in opposition to the New York Giants in Week 5. A pair weeks later it was completely taped on gameday. Then, final week, Rodgers revealed to a Make-A-Want baby that his damage was really a fracture. He confirmed it to reporters this previous Wednesday within the Packers’ locker room. It was then reported earlier than their 40-33 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night time that it is really an avulsion fracture, which causes the ligament to tear away from its attachment, taking some bone with it, in response to NFL Community.

Translation: Ow.

The truth that Rodgers is enjoying by way of it ought to come as no shock to anybody, although. That is what he does. However typically destiny has a means of creating your selections for you, which is precisely what occurred Sunday night time.

Rodgers threw a number of interceptions within the first half in opposition to Philadelphia, his accuracy clearly struggling on account of instability together with his thumb. It was his second sport because the damage with a number of interceptions — a rarity for Rodgers in his profession. He was seen repeatedly shaking it out repeatedly as early as warmups. Then, on the Packers’ second possession of the second half, Rodgers sustained an indirect damage, which was lastly sufficient to take him to the locker room and get him checked out.

“I’m not quite sure when it happened but I know that in the third quarter, I was about to call a pass and I could tell he wasn’t feeling right,” Packers head coach Matt LaFleur stated after the sport. “So we kept going run after run after run and we mixed in a couple run solutions and we could see when he threw them out he was bending over and wincing and so I knew he was in a lot of pain.”

Rodgers clarified: “It’s ribs. It was in the first half and then got reaggravated in the third quarter. Just having a hard time breathing and rotating my upper body. I was worried about a punctured lung as well so I wanted to get that checked out. Getting a scan tomorrow.”

He returned to the sideline out of uniform, successfully signaling that he was finished for the night time. Rodgers would say after the sport he wouldn’t return due to the ache. It was “intense” in his phrases.

From there, the story nearly writes itself.

As initially identified by NFL Community, nearly precisely 15 years in the past to the day, Rodgers changed an injured Brett Favre on the street in opposition to an NFC East opponent (the Dallas Cowboys) in a foreshadowing of what was to return. Rodgers changed Favre because the starter after the season and by no means appeared again. Till now.

Now with Rodgers injured, the person who has been ready within the wings for years — Jordan Love —, simply as Rodgers himself did, took the sector. In Love’s first sequence he threw a 63-yard landing move to Inexperienced Bay’s rising star receiver in rookie Christian Watson.

“I’m not shocked that he went out there and played well and showed great poise,” stated LaFleur of Love. “You see it on a daily basis in practice. I know people may not necessarily agree with that but I see that every day.”

May historical past repeat itself? Is destiny working extra time once more?

In fact, transferring on from Rodgers, recent off a multi-year, $150 million contract, is less complicated stated than finished. Ought to Love supplant him, flat-out releasing him is not actually an possibility. The perfect state of affairs is that Rodgers retires, which might permit Inexperienced Bay to restructure his contract and reduce his cap hit for the approaching years. They might additionally commerce him, which might imply a $15,833,570 hit in 2023 and embrace a $24,480,000 cost in 2024, supplied the Packers do not train the choice earlier than then.

It begs the query: have we seen the final of Rodgers? At the very least within the inexperienced and gold?

There after all is the chance that Rodgers lets his thumb heal, is aware of he nonetheless has fuel left within the tank, Inexperienced Bay does the unthinkable and invests in weapons and the blokes round Rodgers and he comes again one other yr. However would not that merely simply make an excessive amount of sense?

The Packers won’t have received on Sunday night time, however Love introduced them so near a comeback they might odor it. Certain, it was in opposition to a Philadelphia protection primarily enjoying forestall given their vital lead, however Inexperienced Bay is likely to be smart to let Love end out the season, even.

LaFleur wasn’t prepared for that notion but, although.

“I wouldn’t say that,” he stated when requested if he ought to shut down Rodgers. “We have to have more conversation before we even get into that. As long as he’s able to go I expect him to be out there.”

Rodgers was equally non-committal. 

“As long as I check out fine tomorrow, I’ll expect to play this weekend,” Rodgers stated. “Might not be able to go Wednesday but as long as there’s no major structural damage I’ll try to get back out there.”

Key phrase: strive.

He stated later: “As long as we’re mathematically alive, I’d like to be out there.”

The Packers have a 3% likelihood to make the playoffs, in response to FiveThirtyEight.

Rodgers is banged up no matter how dangerous the indirect damage is from Sunday night time. The Packers are sitting at 4-8, their postseason hopes dwindling with their win proportion. They might get a chronic have a look at Love to find out if he is really their quarterback of the longer term. Or present him with an extended tryout for different groups across the league and maybe get a return for him earlier than deciding whether or not to choose up his fifth-year possibility.

Destiny is a fickle factor. And Inexperienced Bay wants to determine theirs sooner somewhat than later.

Learn extra Week 12 protection:

Carmen Vitali covers the NFC North for FOX Sports activities. Carmen had earlier stops with The Draft Community and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. She spent six seasons with the Bucs, together with 2020, which added the title of Tremendous Bowl Champion (and boat-parade participant) to her résumé. You possibly can comply with Carmen on Twitter at @CarmieV.


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