Aaron Rodgers suffered a broken collarbone in his throwing shoulder back on October 15th, being driven into the ground by Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr.
Rodgers underwent surgery a few days later, and since then he’s popped up in a few places, including a memorable Clueless Gamer segment on Conan.
And now, Rodgers has spoken to the media, via the Packers website, to say that he’s still hoping to get back on the field this season.
“It’s going to come down to the bone healing. That’s the most important thing,” Rodgers said on Friday at his locker, discussing his prospects for a return this season. Rodgers met with the media for the first time since taking the fateful hit from Minnesota linebacker Anthony Barr back on Oct. 15.
“There won’t be a decision made until that bone is healed, so it’s not even a conversation if it’s not where it needs to be.”
The Packers have some time to decide. The league’s injured reserve rules allow for certain players to return, but only after being out for 8 weeks. Sort of the equivalent to an 81-day disabled list for baseball. Rodgers wouldn’t be able to come back until Week 15, when the Packers take on the Panthers. Whether or not he comes back certainly depends on the health of his shoulder, although it also depends on the health of the Packers season.
The NFC playoff picture is currently muddy, although that’s typical for the midway point of the season. By the time Week 15 rolls around, the Packers may have had their decision made for them, because risking further injury that could perhaps impact Rodgers going forward is certainly not worth it in a lost season. That’s the same decision the Colts reached with Andrew Luck earlier this week.
Green Bay’s backup, Brett Hundley, is going to have a lot to do with how the rest of their season unfolds, and Rodgers acknowledged the role he’s going to be playing for a while:
Rodgers has been in meetings this week with Hundley, and the two have lockers next to one another, so they talk often. But Rodgers has no plans to be an overbearing presence in any efforts to help Hundley.
“Maybe stay out of the way, to be honest,” Rodgers said, when asked the most important thing he can do. “It’s giving him his space to be the guy, but helping him as much as he wants. He’s a fantastic friend and player, and he’s got an opportunity now.
“I’m around and I’m here to listen and to bounce things off of, but he’s got a great quarterback coach and offensive coordinator and head coach who have been helping him out. My role is just to help him as much as I can and continue to give him the things he needs, as much or as little as that is.”
The league is better when Aaron Rodgers is playing. Hopefully that happens again soon.