Aaron Rodgers said after the Green Bay Packers’ season ended with a loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC championship game Sunday that his football future is uncertain and he’ll need some time away to ponder the possibilities.

“A lot of the guys’ futures that are uncertain, myself included, that’s what’s sad about it most, getting this far,” Rodgers said during a postgame video news conference. “Obviously there’s going to be an end to it at some point, whether we make it past this one or not. But just the uncertainty is tough and the finality of it all.”

Packers Coach Matt LaFleur said he expects his 37-year-old quarterback to be back next season.

“I sure as hell hope so,” LaFleur said. “I mean, the guy’s the MVP of this league. He is the heart and soul of our football team. So hell yeah, he’d better be back here. He’s our leader.”

Rodgers’s contract runs through 2023. The Packers used a first-round choice in last year’s draft on quarterback Jordan Love. Rodgers responded with a brilliant season that could earn him the MVP award. But with Sunday’s 31-26 defeat, the Packers remained stuck on one Super Bowl appearance during Rodgers’s tenure. They’ve lost the past two NFC championship games.

Rodgers was asked at the end of his news conference about his next steps.

“That’s a good question,” Rodgers said. “I don’t know. I really don’t. There’s a lot of unknowns going into this offseason now. I’m just going to have to take some time away for sure and clear my head and just kind of see what’s going on with everything. But it’s pretty tough right now, especially thinking about the guys that may or may not be here next year.

“There’s always change. That’s the only constant in this business. It’s really tough to get to this point — really, really tough. … It’s a grind just to get to this point. And that makes the finality of it all kind of hit you like a ton of bricks. That’s why it’s a gutting feeling in your stomach. … I’ll always be thankful for this season.”

The Packers seemed stunned and shaken by the loss after securing the NFC’s top playoff seed.

“I’m kind of at a loss for words right now,” LaFleur said. “It’s just hard to have a lot to say about something that you were not prepared for.”