T’was the day after Christmas and all through Packersland, the fans were rejoicing as Aaron Rodgers was back.
Yeah I know it’s cheesy (no pun intended) but it just fit with the season.
By now, the return of Aaron Rodgers has been dissected, rehashed, and scanned more times than his collarbone! What does it mean? Victory or desperation and risk?
As a fan I have spent the last few weeks hanging on every press conference and news leak as to “will he, or will he not” return. I mean up until today there was a better chance of catching Santa coming down the chimney then finding out the return date of Rodgers.
But his return leaves me wondering … is it worth it?
Approximately seven weeks ago Rodgers broke his collarbone. The media and every fan who bought a medical degree on the Internet speculated recovery time was six to eight weeks. The funny thing is, I don’t ever recall the Packers providing any type of timeline. We, the masses did, and when it did not happen we determined there was a conspiracy or there was tension between Rodgers and the staff. Stories grew and the truth was lost, or at least never was offered up from the offices at Lambeau Field.
So what was the truth? That is a question that will never be answered. But now we are faced with a situation that may or may not be in the best interest of the team and more importantly, Aaron Rodgers.
Don’t get me wrong, I am glad that he is back under center and even after seven weeks off. But is the risk versus reward worth his return?
The reward is simple, if we win. Rodgers comes back and defeats the Bears on their turf to win the division championship. We get to again take a trophy on their field, send them packing and we move on to the playoffs. Personally, this is the scenario I love the most because we get to stick it to the Bears.
What more could we ask for?
The risk though is a bit more complex. First is the possibility of re-injuring the collarbone. Then he is out of the game and the multitude of medical issues would result with the worst possibility being surgery and an extended layoff during the offseason.
So what is the probability of being re-injured? Well it happened to Clay Matthews, so it could just as easily happen to him. Look at where he is playing – Soldier Field. One of the worst maintained fields in the NFL. Factor in winter weather and a frozen playing field and it will probably be like playing on concrete. One good hit and that shoulder hits the ground … do we even want to think of it?
Then after the injury is all the second-guessing that will go on. The same media and Internet doctors who called for his early return will turn tail and blame the team, the medical staff and God above for rushing his return to the field when he was not ready.
NEWS ALERT!! Ya can’t have it both ways, people!
Another risk is the fact that too many people have been drinking the Kool-Aid, are wearing green and gold tinted glasses and are living in a reality that stretches the definition of normal. His return does not guarantee anything more than a 50/50 chance of winning. Is he rusty? How is his timing with the offense? Will he be mentally and physically ready for a game after being sidelined for so long?
These are all legitimate questions that need answering.
In the end this is way more complex than should he or should he not play. I also find it interesting that we all sit here and make judgments on what he should do. I wonder if Rodgers sits at home and wonders if we should be going to work when we are out with an injury?
Yes, I understand this is football and we are all passionate about the team and our star player. But I think many of us have lost sight of the fact that this is a game. Shouldn’t the well-being of one man be more important than winning a game?
None of this is easy to answer.
There is no right or wrong answer.
In the end the results will dictate the questions and we will be left to wonder if what transpired today was worth it or not.
Am I glad that Aaron Rodgers is back?
Am I concerned that it is not the best decision for him as a person?
Am I filled with more questions now than when the day began, definitely. And I am still just as conflicted as I was before.
So my birthday wish (besides lifelong season tickets to a suite at Lambeau) is that Aaron Rodgers comes back and we beat the Bears to win the NFC North Division. In the process he does not re-injure the shoulder and we take our chances in the playoffs.
I just hope that the rewards outweigh the risks and none of us are second guessing this decision come Monday. If we are, I am then asking for a refund for my ACME Medical Degree – seriously it cost $39.99 and UPS said it would be here before Christmas.
I am still waiting.
Go! Pack! Go! and Welcome Back, Aaron!