Packers QB Aaron Rodgers Makes Final Call on Playing vs. Bears

Aaron Rodgers, Packers

Getty QB Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers reacts after throwing an incomplete pass during the first quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on November 27, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

After 48 hours of uncertainty, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers finally offered the first bit of real clarity on the vicious rib injury he suffered against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Rodgers made his weekly appearance on The Pat McAfee Show on Tuesday, November 29, during which he revealed the results of his most recent rib scans taken the day before.

“I got good scans yesterday, so I plan on playing this week,” Rodgers told McAfee.

Aaron Rodgers’ Status Both Good, Bad News for the Packers

Brandin Cooks Talks

GettyThe Green Bay Packers appear poised to move forward with Aaron Rodgers as their starting quarterback after he got “good news” on his rib scans Monday, November 28, 2022.

The QB’s status next weekend against the Chicago Bears was in serious doubt after he left the the field for good in Philadelphia in the third quarter, bound for X-rays in the locker room to determine whether he had suffered broken ribs and/or a punctured lung.

Rodgers said Sunday night following the loss that his lung was intact, but the scans were inconclusive as to any potentially broken bones. That uncertainty piled on the already known condition of a broken thumb on Rodgers’ throwing hand and raised the legitimate question of whether the time had come for the Packers to shelve the quarterback for the rest of the season.

That Rodgers is healthy enough to play in Chicago is both good and bad news for Packers fans. Avoiding any and all serious injuries at 38 years old is paramount for the remainder of the QB’s career. Most likely, that career will play out in Green Bay, though not necessarily.

The team has struggled mightily this season to a 4-8 record, and some views of its personnel strategy can be interpreted as the front office abandoning Rodgers with little help in the passing game. After securing a three-year extension worth a guaranteed $150 million-plus, Rodgers’ financial future is set. However, if he is unhappy, he could choose the same route he has chosen in each of the previous two offseasons and push for a trade by threatening retirement.

That tactic wouldn’t have the same teeth in 2023 as it did the two years prior, as Rodgers was the reigning NFL MVP in both of the previous instances. But it would matter if the Packers choose not to extend backup quarterback Jordan Love on his fifth-year option — a decision the organization will have to make by May.

The news that Rodgers intends to play on Sunday is bad for Green Bay only because it means four fewer quarters for the front office and coaching staff to evaluate Love, who was drafted in the first round in 2020 as the heir apparent to Rodgers. Love played exceptionally well in Rodgers’ stead against the Eagles, but more data needs to be collected. The only way that can happen is if Rodgers sits, which doesn’t appear to be likely this weekend.

Packers Clinging to Slim Playoff Hopes, as Rodgers Will Play Against Bears

Al-Quadin Muhammad

GettyQuarterback Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers is brought down by defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad of the Chicago Bears during a game at Lambeau Field on September 18, 2022, in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

The Packers have not yet been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, though any real shot at the postseason became incredibly slim following their loss to the Eagles.

A Wildcard berth in the NFC would require five consecutive victories to finish the year and likely some outside help. Winning this weekend in Chicago and capturing their following game against a banged-up Los Angeles Rams squad will only serve to extend Rodgers’ time under center in what is probably already a lost season, robbing Love of an opportunity to mature and prove himself while simultaneously worsening the Packers’ draft position in 2023.

However, it is also understandable that Rodgers wants to play and that Packers head coach Matt LaFleur sees the situation the same way his quarterback does. Green Bay won 13 games and the NFC North Division title in each of the previous three seasons, entering the playoffs among the Super Bowl favorites each time.

Rookie wide receiver Christian Watson has exploded onto the NFL scene after a slow start, scoring six touchdowns in the previous three games. The Packers are 1-2 in those contests, but the offense has looked more explosive and the team has at least been competitive in all of them.

LaFleur essentially said on Sunday night that his quarterback would play against the Bears if he was ready physically and had the desire to go. Rodgers indicated as much in his own words on Tuesday, which means the Packers’ push for the playoffs, however unlikely, will continue this weekend in Chicago.

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