When Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers took on the Philadelphia Eagles, he knowingly played with a broken thumb, which he said earlier in the week wouldn’t stop him from being on the field.
What the Packers didn’t anticipate was Rodgers leaving the game early in the 40-33 loss with a rib injury, something that could rule him out in the coming weeks.
It’s not final yet, and Rodger’s post-game press conference reveals he wants to be back on the field next week against the Chicago Bears.
“As long as I check out well tomorrow, I’ll probably play this weekend,” he told reporters. “I may not be able to go on Wednesday, but as long as there is no major structural damage I will go back out.”
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Rodgers explained that it was a mix of getting a clear shot to the ribs and landing on them in separate games, one in the second quarter and again in the third.
“I just have a hard time breathing and twisting my upper body,” Rodgers said. “I was also scared of a punctured lung, so I wanted to get that checked out.”
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Luckily, the lungs are fine, but Rodgers admitted initial tests couldn’t definitively show his ribs weren’t broken. Further testing will be conducted on Monday to ensure the diagnosis is correct for the back-to-back NFL MVP.
At 4-8 now in the season, there’s also speculation about Rodgers wanting to continue, with playoff hopes dwindling with every loss. He even said the team might need to win their next five games and need some help elsewhere in the league just to make a wildcard spot.
But while there’s hope, the 38-year-old signal caller wants to be among the middle.
“I don’t really want to get lost there, but as long as we’re mathematically alive I’d love to be out there,” he said.
Head coach Matt LaFleur added Rodgers apologized to him for not being able to continue the game, but he didn’t want to hear it.
“This is one of the toughest guys I’ve ever been with. I never question his toughness.”
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But LaFleur also didn’t want to speculate on his quarterback situation next week and moved on, as Jordan Love could get his first start since Week 9 of the 2021 season — the only start of his career, starting as the 26th overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft.
“If Aaron is healthy and ready to go, I’ll be expecting him out there,” LaFleur said.
Coming into play for Rodgers in the fourth quarter, Love quickly found rising star Christian Watson for a 63-yard catch-and-run. He would end the game with that 6-of-9 touchdown pass for 113 yards.
“I’m not shocked that he went out there and played well and had a great balance. We see that every day. People might not necessarily agree with that, but I see it every day,” LaFleur said of Love.
Rodgers also said he’s “proud” of what Love has achieved.
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As for his thumb injury, Rodgers said it felt better this week than last week, so it appears to be making progress as he continues to play through it.
But the Packers’ minds have shifted to the latest, more serious Rodgers illness, which may sideline him even if he doesn’t want to.
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He finished with 140 yards on 11 for 16 with two touchdown passes and two interceptions thrown into the loss.