For the third straight week, the Green Bay Packers coaching and medical staff will have to determine what is starting to seem like America’s favorite new game show: Will Aaron Rodgers play this week? There was a thought that Rodgers’ collarbone would have healed enough to play against the Atlanta Falcons two weeks ago, but that idea was quickly shot down. Last week, Rodgers was said to have had his best week of practice since his injury and was firing “lasers” to the wide receivers. But, Rodgers was again ruled out on Friday and Matt Flynn made his third straight start.
The Packers are in control of their own destiny if they want to win the NFC North. All they need to do is beat the Pittsburgh Steelers this week and the Chicago Bears in the season finale, and they are NFC North champs for the third straight year. With that in mind, the Packers will have to determine which is more important: winning the division, or the long term health of their franchise quarterback. Even though Rodgers is said to be looking great in practice, the thing that people need to remember is that his broken collarbone happened to his non-throwing shoulder. That collarbone injury has no effect on what his right arm and shoulder can do.
This week, there have been contradicting reports about how close Rodgers is to playing. On Tuesday and Wednesday, Rodgers has been practicing with the second team, while Matt Flynn has been taking the first team reps. Also on Wednesday, head coach Mike McCarthy said that Rodgers looked sharp during practice and looked ready to play. One day it looks very bleak for Rodgers’ chances, and the next day it looks like he could be cleared at any moment.
Another game tactic that could be asked: are the Packers just trying to play mind games with the Pittsburgh Steelers? Right now, the Packers have said that they are preparing for Matt Flynn to be the starter and the game plan will revolve around his ability. More than likely, that would mean the Steelers would be game planning to stop Flynn. But, the more talk about Rodgers playing could force them to game plan against Rodgers at quarterback. If they were to only plan against Flynn and then Rodgers would play, or vice versa, the Steelers could be in for a long night.
This is becoming America’s new favorite game show to follow. The debate on whether or not Aaron Rodgers will play is picking up steam since the Packers control their playoff fate. How will it all play out? In my opinion, if he doesn’t play this week, the only way Rodgers should play next week is if the Packers have to win to make the playoffs. If next week is win or go home, the Packers better go into battle with Aaron Rodgers as quarterback, or they will find themselves out of the playoff hunt, game over.