Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

NFL Highlights: Rodgers' Injury 'Devastating' to Packers

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

NFL Highlights: Rodgers' Injury 'Devastating' to Packers

Article excerpt

Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers arrived at the Super Bowl site for this season, with a realistic goal of returning to Minnesota in four months for a crack at another championship. But their chance of returning in February took an awfully big hit Sunday when Rodgers suffered a broken collarbone.

Walking gingerly to the sideline with his throwing shoulder throbbing in pain, Rodgers turned back toward the field and barked at Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr. Rodgers probably already knew that his season was in jeopardy after Barr's hit broke his collarbone, and the fiery quarterback's frustration boiled over. Now the Packers have to try to make sure their season as a whole doesn't go down the drain with it.

Rodgers was knocked out of the 23-10 loss in the first quarter with an injury that could cause him to miss the remainder of the season. It's a crushing blow to a team that entered the season with Super Bowl aspirations, optimism based primarily on the right arm of one of the game's best quarterbacks.

"It's devastating," receiver Randall Cobb said. "No question about it. First and foremost, that is one of my closest friends, so to see him go down with that is tough. We still have to play football. We have a long season ahead of us to figure out what we are going to do."

Brett Hundley, the only other quarterback on the roster outside of practice squad player Joe Callahan, was rushed into duty. He finished 18 of 33 passing for 157 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions.

"Losing Aaron Rodgers speaks for itself," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "In my opinion, he's the best player in football. This is the ultimate team game. We need to be better with the 11 people on the field that we have, regardless of the phase that we're in. Ultimately that's my responsibility."

Hundley had only thrown 11 passes over the course of his first two-plus seasons in the league before jumping in Sunday.

Colin Kaepernick, who has had difficulty finding a job since becoming the face of league-wide demonstrations during the national anthem that protest social injustice, and Tony Romo, who joined CBS retiring from the Dallas Cowboys, could be outside options to fill in for Rodgers. It was reported Sunday that Kaepernick has filed a grievance against the NFL, alleging that he remains unsigned as a result of collusion by owners.

But McCarthy said after the game he was not considering any outside options, at least not yet.

"Brett Hundley and Joe Callahan, that's what we're going with," he said.

Since becoming the Packers' full-time starting QB in 2008, Rodgers has been remarkably durable. He missed seven games in 2013 because of a broken collarbone but has started 132 of the other 134 games during that span.


Rodgers wasn't the only quarterback injured Sunday, or otherwise in the spotlight:

* The Buccaneers' Jameis Winston left in the second quarter because of an injury to his throwing shoulder in a loss to the Cardinals. …

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