COMMENTARY | As Green Bay Packers fans around the country shuffle through the remainder of their Thanksgiving weekend, it's all but certain most have thrown in the towel on the Packers' chances of making the playoffs in 2013.
Chatter before Thanksgiving suggested that if the team could just get through its game against the Lions, then Aaron Rodgers could potentially rejoin the team for a late playoff push.
In the aftermath of the game against Detroit on Thanksgiving, it's safe to say that expectations for the Packers are now a whole lot lower.
Running the table requires winning multiple games, consecutively. Since losing Aaron Rodgers to injury, the Packers have now gone winless in their last five. The Packers don't currently look like they are capable of winning a single game, much less multiple games.
After the first half of play on Thanksgiving Day, the Packers had mustered under 50 yards of total offense. Meanwhile, the sieve that the Packers call a defense had given up nearly 350.
Minus a couple miscues on offense by the Lions in the first half and the stadium might have been half-empty by the start of the third quarter.
Things only got worse with the Lions ultimately stomping the Green Bay Packers and their associated playoff hopes by a score of 40-10. The Packers ended the game with only 126 total yards on offense while giving up a mind-boggling 561 yards.
Based on how utterly the Packers were dominated in all facets of the game, the team will now have to seriously consider shelving Aaron Rodgers for the rest of 2013.
While the team may be technically still alive in the NFC North divisional race, that is basically a phantom mathematical hope for a team that is currently in shambles.
Looking momentarily past the atrocious state of the Packers' defense, the offensive line is just not currently up to the task of protecting Aaron Rodgers -- especially if he is not yet fully healed from injury.
Evan Dietrich-Smith appeared to aggravate a knee injury during the Lions game, which means the Packers are now paper-thin in regards to their offensive line. The Lions' defensive line was consequently served their Thanksgiving dinner early and proceeded to feast upon Matt Flynn with seven sacks.
The Packers, like any business, must continually balance risks vs. rewards. The question now is whether the potential rewards from bringing back Rodgers outweigh the risks.
The answer to that question appears to be a definitive "no."
With regards to risks, the Packers would be placing Rodgers in harm's way with a patch-work offensive line. Suffering seven sacks during a single game isn't exactly the best way to rehabilitate a broken collarbone.
Considering the Packers are playing such atrocious defense and special teams, it's nearly impossible to believe they could win the NFC North, even with Rodgers back on the field.
That equation means that Rodgers would be exposed to significant risk of further injury with almost zero chance of the team qualifying for the postseason. That's a lot of risk and for essentially no reward.
As terribly as the Packers' brass appears to have managed the team in 2013, one has to believe they won't be foolish enough to risk their franchise quarterback and chances in 2014 by playing Rodgers again this year.
The team will likely be experiencing some drastic chances in terms of coaching staff and player personnel before the start of the 2014 season. As sad as it might be for Packer Nation, the 2013 season is effectively over.
By shelving Rodgers for the rest of 2013, the team could at least demonstrate that it has taken appropriate steps to ensure the future integrity of the franchise.
Andrew Prochnow is a derivatives trader by day and a Green Bay Packers fan by night. He is a regular contributor at Yahoo Sports and The Bleacher Report. Tweet him @AndrewProchnow.
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