A rib injury to Aaron Rodgers, minuscule playoff hopes, and the Jordan Love factor.
Sunday night, on their way out of town, the Green Bay Packers were forced to deal with everything.
Rodgers exited the Packers’ 40-33 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the third quarter with a rib injury and an initial fear of a punctured lung, according to the quarterback.
A team staff member carried Rodgers’ suitcase out of the visitors locker room at Lincoln Financial Field because he was in so much pain after the game – the Packers’ seventh loss in the last eight games.
This left Love to finish the game and nearly rally the Packers to victory almost 15 years to the day that Rodgers replaced an injured Brett Favre in Dallas on November 29, 2007 and nearly did the same.
Love never had a chance at a game-tying drive because the Packers’ defense could not stop the opposing offense in the final minute. While Rodgers’ relief appearances in his third year as a backup indicated he was ready to replace Favre, no one was prepared to say the same about Love on Sunday. However, it was his most impressive performance in three NFL seasons, raising questions about whether he should continue playing.
Rodgers was not willing to concede anything, not even the game against the Chicago Bears on Sunday.
Rodgers stated Sunday night that he expects to play this weekend if his physical examination on Monday is negative. Monday, he will undergo another scan of his ribs.
At the stadium, he was X-rayed, but he reported that it was “difficult to tell” if he had fractured ribs. According to him, the problem was caused by two plays: one in the second quarter in which he was hit and landed awkwardly, and then a combined sack by Haason Reddick and Brandon Graham in the third quarter.
Rodgers had just led a drive that resulted in a Packers field goal that narrowed the Eagles’ lead to 34-23 with two minutes remaining in the third quarter. During the drive, he appeared to be experiencing some discomfort, and he subsequently jogged to the locker room with several team medical personnel.
Rodgers stated that he had difficulty breathing and rotating his upper body. I was also concerned about a punctured lung, so I wanted to have that evaluated.
X-rays revealed that Rodgers did not have a lung puncture.
“I knew he was in a great deal of pain,” said Packers head coach Matt LaFleur. “This is one of the toughest guys I’ve ever encountered, so I never doubt his toughness, his desire to be out there, and his desire to compete. In fact, he apologized to me, and I told him, “Never apologize to me again. I will never question that.”
Rodgers revealed earlier in the week that the thumb injury he has been playing with since Week 5 is actually a fracture. He maintained after the game that he would not require surgery on his thumb either immediately or at the end of the season, stating that it was “definitely better than last week.”
Before leaving the field, Rodgers had completed 11 of 16 passes for 140 yards and two touchdowns. Additionally, he threw two interceptions in the first half for the second time in four weeks; he threw two interceptions in the first half of Green Bay’s Week 9 loss at Detroit. It brought his season total to nine interceptions, already the most he has thrown in a season since 2010 (when he had 11).
Love, the Packers’ first-round pick in 2020 and potential Rodgers heir apparent, entered the game with 11:11 remaining in the fourth quarter and the Packers trailing 37-23. With 9 minutes remaining, he promptly threw a 63-yard catch-and-run touchdown pass to rookie receiver Christian Watson to make it a one-score game. With 1:08 remaining, he led another drive that ended in a field goal.
“There’s obviously a lot of other conversations that come into play once you’re eliminated, and I’ll be open to all those conversations.” Pride comes to mind. love of the game. But there are other factors that, obviously, would come into play should we be mathematically eliminated.Packers QB Aaron Rodgers
At that time, the Packers still had three timeouts, so Love believed he might receive another possession. As was the case throughout the game, the Eagles ran out the clock. This is the most rushing yards the Packers have allowed in a game since 1977 (157 by quarterback Jalen Hurts and 143 by running back Miles Sanders).
Love completed 6-of-9 passes for 113 yards, and the Packers scored on both of his possessions. Before Love hit Allen Lazard for 7 yards on third-and-5 from their own 30-yard line, they had never converted a third down. The following play, Love threw a slant pass to Watson, who returned it 63 yards for a touchdown.
As long as the Packers still have a chance to make the playoffs, Rodgers rejected the notion of shutting it down for the year. The Packers are not mathematically eliminated at 4-8, but ESPN Analytics gives them a 2% chance of making the playoffs.
Rodgers stated, “We must win all five games and may require some assistance.”
Regarding what will occur if or when the Packers are eliminated from postseason contention, Aaron Rodgers stated, “There are obviously many other conversations that come into play once you’re eliminated, and I’ll be open to all those conversations. Pride comes to mind. Passion for the game. But there are obviously other factors that would come into play if we were mathematically eliminated.”
Among these factors is, of course, love.
Love stated, “Obviously I want to be on the field, but the situation is what it is.” “The most difficult aspect is attempting to remain mentally prepared and resolute because you never know what may occur.
“I simply go out and try to make the most of the situation. Who knows what the future holds? Who knows what will occur if I do my best and make the most of my opportunity?”