The Atlanta Falcons’ win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday night boosted the Falcons’ chances of returning to the playoffs, but it also knocked the Green Bay Packers out of the postseason.
So, with nothing to play for, the Packers are protecting the franchise.
Green Bay announced on Tuesday afternoon that it had placed Aaron Rodgers on injured reserve, ending his season.
Rodgers broke his collarbone on Oct. 15, but returned to the field last Sunday, after having over a dozen screws inserted in the bone, healing and rehabbing.
Coming off back-to-back overtime wins, the Packers went into that game, in Carolina against the Panthers, still in the hunt for a playoff spot. But their 31-24 loss combined with Atlanta’s win closed the door on any chance of a postseason berth.
It’s the first time since 2008 that Green Bay will not be in the playoffs.
It’s a smart move for the Packers, and a smart move for Rodgers, who risks further injury by playing in games that don’t matter in terms of his team’s position in the standings.
Coach Mike McCarthy told reporters that ending Rodgers’ season is what the team felt was best for Aaron, and that he was sore after taking a number of hits against Carolina.
With Rodgers back on the shelf, Brett Hundley will return as the team’s starting quarterback; the Packers also signed QB Joe Callahan to the roster.