Six games into what was shaping up as a golden season and a possible run toward his third MVP, Aaron Rodgers was carted to the locker room in the first quarter of the Green Bay Packers’ game against the Minnesota Vikings.
The Packers later announced the quarterback had suffered a broken collarbone that could possibly keep him out the rest of the season.
The culprit was a hit by Anthony Barr after Rodgers had unloaded an incomplete pass to Martellus Bennett. Barr drove Rodgers to the ground on his right throwing arm, and Rodgers was immediately in pain. Although the hit was legal, Rodgers had words for Barr as he walked off the field.
He was examined in the sideline medical tent and then carted off the field and did not return.
Rodgers, twice the NFL MVP, has not missed significant time since breaking his left collarbone on Nov. 4, 2013. He did not require surgery that time and, after missing seven games, returned for the regular season finale and the playoff loss to Seattle.
This time, he braced himself for the fall into the turf with his right arm, taking the hit from his blind side. His arm was immobile while he was carted off, leaving him to give backup quarterback Brett Hundley a slap with his left hand.
Ironically, Rodgers has been one member of the offense who has been healthy this season, and his injury occurred as two of his regular tackles, Bryan Bulaga and David Bakhtiari, were back on the field after missing time with injuries.
At least for now and maybe longer, that’s No. 7, Hundley, at quarterback, Coach Mike McCarthy said. With Joe Callahan at backup.
Around the NFL, reaction was about as you’d expect. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, told of the injury, said, “That sucks.”
J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans, whose season ended last week, added that he was “gutted” for Rodgers and Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks noted, “The league is better when he’s healthy.”
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