The Green Bay Packers’ perfect 6-0 start has been tarnished by a three-game skid over the last three weeks.
At 6-3, the Packers no longer lead the NFC North, trailing the Minnesota Vikings by a game.
The sudden slump has Packers fans worrying, particularly because the team seems to have been bitten by the injury bug heading into the back-half of the season.
Several players are “banged up,” perhaps most notably benched running back Eddie Lacy, who missed Week 10 with a groin injury. The Packers are already thin on offence, missing their best receiver Jordy Nelson after he tore his ACL in preseason, and rookie receiver Ty Montgomery who’s out with an ankle injury.
Now, Aaron Rodgers has been added to the list. During a media session, Packers coach Mike McCarthy admitted that Rodgers was also “banged up.” According to Weston Hodkiewicz of the Green Bay Press-Gazette, Rodgers has a shoulder injury that limited him in practice Wednesday.
As Hodkiewicz notes, Rodgers has been noticeably wincing during on-field action. ESPN’s Jason Wilde reported that Rodgers’ injury is to his right shoulder — his throwing arm — and he also sustained a leg injury in Week 10.
The timing doesn’t seem like any coincidence. The Packers’ three-game losing streak is their first with Rodgers since 2008. Over the last three games, Rodgers has thrown six touchdowns, including a touchdown-less game in Week 8 against the Broncos, and one interception. His completion percentage has dropped to 56.5% and his passer rating is a measly 83.3 over the last three games.
In the NFL this season, quarterback injuries coming out after a couple bad games has spelled doom.
Andrew Luck struggled for several weeks, missed practices with a shoulder issue, and all the while the Colts remained mum on the issue. He then missed several games, and it was later reported that he had been playing with injured ribs.
Peyton Manning has looked like a shell of his former self all season. After the worst games of his career, it was reported that he has been dealing with plantar fasciitis all season, and that it had worsened. He’s now out for the foreseeable future.
That’s not to say that Rodgers’ shoulder issue is anything to fret about — he seems on track to play Sunday in a huge division game against the Vikings. However, with the Packers bordering on desperation mode, the timing of Rodgers injury couldn’t be worse. And when the run game is struggling, Rodgers has been forced to throw more, particularly in Week 10 when he slung 61 passes. Throwing at that kind of rate with an injured shoulder doesn’t bode well for the Packers’ immediate future.
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