Green Bay Packers considering shutting Aaron Rodgers down for 2017?

Green Bay Packers

An otherwise innocuous roster transaction might mean more than it first appears for the Pack.

It’s normally not a big deal when an NFL team re-signs a third-string QB to the roster. For the Green Bay Packers, though, it might be a clue to the rest of their season and the short-term future for superstar signal-caller Aaron Rodgers.

The narrative around Rodgers’ recent return to the lineup was that since the Pack stayed in the playoff hunt while he was out with a broken collarbone, he could step back into the lineup and help Green Bay run the table. The reality was decidedly less kind, as the first game in the closing stretch was a very tough one against the Carolina Panthers, and Rodgers looked like a guy who was out for a good chunk of the season while throwing three INTs in a losing effort.

A win by the Atlanta Falcons on Monday night will eliminate the Packers from playoff contention. The Packers also decided to re-sign QB Joe Callahan to the 53-man roster today. Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk thinks these two facts could be related:

Without a postseason berth in play, it seems prudent for the Packers to keep Rodgers out of harm’s way.

Rodgers’ broken right collarbone sidelined him almost two months. The team’s medical staff cleared him a week ago to return to game action, and Rodgers wouldn’t address whether he lobbied team physician Dr. Pat McKenzie for clearance.

There’s a lot to unpack in just those three sentences. For starters, PFT insinuates that maybe Rodgers rushed back from his injury and isn’t 100 percent, which seems logical but still is based on assumptions.

As well, there’s zero percent chance that Rodgers would not want to play out the season, playoffs or not. That just doesn’t fit with what we’ve seen or heard from him throughout his career.

On top of that, some of the commenters on the PFT piece note that the same logic would suggest that the Dallas Cowboys should sit Dak Prescott once they, too, are mathematically eliminated from the postseason hunt, something no one expects to happen. The differences, though, are that Prescott didn’t hustle back from an injury in mid-season, and he’s still young enough to benefit from all the playing time he can get.

Rodgers doesn’t need reps and might not be fully recovered. It still feels like a longshot to hear the Packers officially say he wouldn’t play for the rest of 2017, but it’s something to keep in mind as they’ve prepared their roster for just such a move if they want to make it.

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