The Packers emerged with a 45-30 win over the Bears on “Sunday Night Football” but any good feeling they had about the victory was dulled by the latest injury news about quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Rodgers played the entirety of the game against the Bears with a toe injury that he has dealt with since early November. He suffered a fractured pinky toe while on the COVID list and played through his fourth game with the malady.
But it felt different after this contest, as the veteran quarterback explained in a postgame news conference.
“It feels worse,” Rodgers said of his injured toe, per ESPN. “I don’t know what kind of setback that I had tonight but we’ll look at it tomorrow. Definitely took a step back tonight.”
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Certainly, that’s not the kind of news that the Packers want to hear. The team just came off its bye week and that extra recovery period — and ability to “get treatment every single day” — was supposed to be beneficial for Rodgers.
“The most important thing is healing and taking care of my toe,” Rodgers said before the bye, per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
However, any progress that Rodgers made was largely undone in Week 14, and that leaves a major question in the balance. Will Rodgers get surgery to repair his injured toe? He opted not to during the bye, though the possibility was considered. Is it on the table now?
“That would be last resort, for sure,” Rodgers said. “But I’ve got to see what kind of setback it was tonight.”
Had Rodgers had the surgery during the bye, he wouldn’t have had to miss a game. However, his toe would be immobilized as a result of the injury, so it’s understandable that he may want to hold off getting it done if he can play through it.
After all, Rodgers has performed well in four games since suffering the injury. He has averaged 331.3 passing yards and 2.5 touchdowns per game while leading the Packers to a 3-1 record. Green Bay is averaging 32.3 points per game during that span.
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Still, Rodgers may have to reconsider his decision as the playoffs approach. The Packers need just one more win (or a Vikings loss) to clinch the NFC North, and they can’t afford to be without Rodgers during the postseason.
They can, however, afford to be without him for one regular-season game if needed. It may hurt them as they attempt to earn the No. 1 seed in the NFC, but the Packers would certainly prefer to have Rodgers healthy in the postseason — even if it costs them a first-round bye.