After recovering from a broken collarbone earlier than anticipated, Aaron Rodgers was supposed to save Green Bay’s season. He was supposed to lead the Packers to victory in their final three games, make the postseason, and then go on yet another magical playoff run.
Instead, Rodgers threw three interceptions in a 31-24 loss at Carolina on Sunday, as Green Bay (7-7) was officially eliminated from postseason contention.
Was it a mistake to bring Rodgers back?
“I don’t think it was a mistake bringing him back considering the steps he had to go through to get cleared,” former Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk said on Reiter Than You. “But now after being eliminated, I think it’s a no-brainer to shut him down and put him on IR.”
The Packers did exactly that, thus ending Rodgers’ season.
“I’m sure Aaron wanted to finish out the season and play those last two games, but it just doesn’t make sense,” Hawk said. “Chances are, his collarbone is not going to get hurt again, but what if something else happens? What if you tear and ACL and he’s facing a six-to-nine-month recovery from that? You don’t want to go in there and jeopardize that just because you want to play in the last two games that don’t really mean a whole lot as far as getting into the playoffs because that dream is already gone.”
Rodgers turned 34 on Dec. 2. He’s not old, but he’s not young, either. He has said he would like to play well into his 40s, but is that possible?
Hawk says yes.
“I think that’s a very real possibility,” Hawk said. “His arm strength’s not going anywhere, that’s for sure. He’s going to have that until the day he dies. His decision-making is only going to get better and better as he gets older. It’s crazy to think it could become better than what it is now. I think he has so many years left. He can play as long as he wants. He is so special and so good at diagnosing defenses and knowing where to go with the ball. His football instincts are just off-the-charts, and he’s super, super competitive as well. So he has everything you need. He can play as long as he wants, honestly.”