The Green Bay Packers may be without Aaron Rodgers for the remainder of the season. Rodgers suffered a broken collarbone during a game against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, and the prognosis isn’t good. It takes about seven-to-eight weeks to heal from a collarbone fracture, but in some cases it takes even longer.
The injury occurred during the first quarter, and was thrown to the ground and rolled up hard on his throwing shoulder, laying there in pain as team doctors came to his side.
Rodgers was carted to the locker room and was ruled out for the remainder of the game. In his place, backup quarterback Brett Hundley stepped in to get his first meaningful NFL snaps. He started slow and made a few mistakes, but he showed some promise and poise moving forward.
Hundley’s first pass was an interception, but his second was good for a short touchdown. The Packers lost the game, 23-10, and Hundley closed with 18 completions for 157 yards, 1 touchdown and 3 interceptions.
Almost immediately after Rodgers suffered the injury, there were calls on social media for the Packers to go out and sign free agent Colin Kaepernick or get Tony Romo to leave the CBS broadcasting booth and return to the field. While both of those things seem far fetched, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that general manager Ted Thompson makes an acquisition of a veteran quarterback.
While Hundley didn’t exactly put up gaudy numbers filling in for Rodgers against the Vikings, Packers coach Mike McCarthy said after the game he was going to stick with Hundley as his starting quarterback while calling up Joe Callahan from the practice squad to serve as his backup. Even though he made the promise to stick with Hundley for the time being, he didn’t comment on if Packers would make any personnel moves — beside Callahan — to try and ease the transition of replacing Rodgers.
So, theoretically, would the Packers consider signing Kaepernick? It seems unlikely, but it’s not completely impossible.
The Packers stuck with Hundley for multiple years for this very reason: To be there if/when Rodgers went down with an injury. With Rodgers sidelined, it’s officially his team and his time to shine.
But if he struggles, don’t put it past Thompson to make a move. Out of the current free agents on the market, Kaepernick is at the top of the list.
If the Packers want to sign Kaepernick, they’d certainly have the salary cap space to do so. According to Sportrac, Green Bay is an estimated $19.48 million below the salary cap.
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Many owners across the league have remained hesitant to give the former 49ers quarterback a call. Some speculate it’s because of his protests during the national anthem and the media firestorm that comes with it. Others say the 29-year-old Milwaukee native doesn’t have what it takes anymore to lead an NFL offense.
When President Donald Trump criticized the ongoing protests in the NFL last month, Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy denounced the comments, saying in a statement that players on the team are “leaders in our communities and positive influences.”
It’s unfortunate that the President decided to use his immense platform to make divisive and offensive statements about our players and the NFL. We strongly believe that players are leaders in our communities and positive influences. They have achieved their positions through tremendous work and dedication and should be celebrated for their success and positive impact. We believe it is important to support any of our players who choose to peacefully express themselves with the hope of change for good. As Americans, we are fortunate to be able to speak openly and freely.
Through the controversy surrounding the NFL spurred by Trump, Rodgers himself remained supportive of Kaepernick and kneeling during the anthem to protest injustice in American society. He told ESPN that Kaepernick deserves a job as quarterback in the NFL.
“I think he should be on a roster right now,” said to ESPN’s Mina Kimes. “I think because of his protests, he’s not.”