GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN – The Packers’ franchise quarterback is taking a seat.
Aaron Rodgers said Tuesday he has a fractured left collarbone and has no idea yet how long he will be out.
The 2011 NFL MVP offered details of the injury on his weekly radio show on 540-AM ESPN. He got hurt after getting sacked by the Bears’ Shea McClellin on a third-down play during Green Bay’s first series while he was scrambling outside the pocket. He hurt his left, non-throwing shoulder.
“I do have a fractured collarbone. That’s a significant injury,” Rodgers said. “We’ll know more about the severity and the timetable later this week.”
Rodgers said he was holding out hope he would heal quickly. “In this case, it was considerably more pain than I’ve felt in a long time,” he added.
That collective groan you heard came from the state of Wisconsin.
The sliver of good news for the Packers: coach Mike McCarthy indicated that the injury won’t end Rodgers’ season. He sounded much more optimistic than after Monday night’s 27-20 loss to Chicago.
“I’m relieved, no doubt,” McCarthy told reporters at Lambeau Field. “With the new information that was given today, everybody felt better about it. How long? We don’t have our hands around a timeline yet, but I know Aaron is very optimistic and he’ll do everything he can to get back in a timely fashion.”
So in steps Seneca Wallace, who wasn’t even in Packers training camp this offseason, to take over the offense when the Philadelphia Eagles visit on Sunday. Wallace was signed before the week of the season opener after Green Bay jettisoned three other backup candidates.
Wallace was ineffective in relief in the 27-20 loss against the Bears, finishing 11-for-19 for 114 yards and an interception. It was his first game since Jan. 1, 2012.
The Packers can wait until Friday to officially rule out injured players, but McCarthy said “I’m preparing Seneca to be the starter, that’s the way our game-planning has gone.”
Yet he seemed to leave open a glimmer of miraculous hope.
“But let’s not kid ourselves, if (Rodgers) walked in your office and asked for the ball on Saturday, what would you do,” he asked rhetorically. “So, we’ll just see what happens.”
On a team rocked all season by injuries, Rodgers had been a rock. Green Bay had reeled off four straight wins despite being without top players like linebacker Clay Matthews (thumb), Randall Cobb (leg) and Jermichael Finley (neck).
Losing Rodgers might be the most devastating blow of all.
His timing, accuracy and footwork have been typically top-notch. Protected by an improved offensive line, and complemented by a rejuvenated running game, the Packers looked to be serious NFC contenders again considering guys like Matthews and Cobb were expected to return.
Rodgers entered Monday night having completed 67 percent of his 249 pass attempts for 2,191 yards and a 108.0 quarterback rating. He has 15 touchdown passes and four interceptions.
And since taking over for the equally dependable Brett Favre in 2008, Rodgers has only missed a game due to injury once — on Dec. 19, 2010, for a concussion.
Texans coach Gary Kubiak is out of the hospital after suffering what the team said was a mini-stroke, but there’s no word on when he will resume coaching duties.
The team said the 52-year-old Kubiak suffered a transient ischemic attack at halftime of Sunday’s loss to Indianapolis. He was released from the hospital on Tuesday and is expected to make a full recovery.
“I’ve been through an ordeal and my focus now is to get back to good health,” Kubiak said in a statement released by the team. “Doctors have told me I will make a full recovery.”
Kubiak collapsed on the field and was rushed to a hospital. The Texans blew an 18-point lead without him and the 27-24 setback was the team’s sixth straight loss.
A transient ischemic attack, or TIA, occurs when blood flow to the brain is briefly interrupted, typically by a blood clot or narrowed blood vessels. TIAs are often called mini-strokes and can cause stroke-like symptoms including sudden dizziness, numbness, vision loss or unconsciousness, though symptoms last only a few minutes or a few hours and no permanent brain damage occurs. TIAs are often a warning sign for a future stroke.
“Someone who has a real TIA has a higher risk of stroke,” said Dr. Larry Goldstein, a professor of neurology and the director of the Duke Stroke Center. “The highest risk is over the next, in general, 90 days or so. The highest risk is relatively soon afterward, over the first few days.”