Aaron Rodgers: Heal Up or Man Up?


Aaron Rodgers … what will the near future bring for the Packers’ and the NFL’s all-world QB?

Raymond T. Rivard photograph

Not much has been said about the injury to Aaron Rodgers … said no one, ever.

Plenty has been said about the injury, but there isn’t much actual evidence to support any real timetable for return. This could be for two reasons:

1. The Green Bay Packers and Rodgers are full-aware that the injury is more serious than they have originally let on. If this is the case, keeping Rodgers on the fence every week is a good technique against opposing defenses and their schemes. If the opposition doesn’t know for sure that Rodgers is ruled out for the game, they are forced to at least game plan for his possible (yet, not probable) return.

2. Rodgers is healing quickly and the timetable is sooner than expected. If this is the case, the Packers could take some teams by surprise when he clears the injury report for the upcoming week.
It’s all about preparation. If the opposition doesn’t have the time to prepare for Rodgers’ aerial attack, it’s an advantage for the Packers.

I, personally, believe that we are dealing with a situation that is closer to the former than the latter.

I know that Rodgers wants to play, he wants to be out there helping his team win. This started out being a very promising season. However, a clavicle fracture is nothing to sneer at. Only time can heal a bone. If the Packers want to keep Rodgers healthy for the long term — and I believe they do, as they just signed him to $130 million deal — they need to think long and hard about what Rodgers should do for the remainder of the 2013 season.

So, should Rodgers HEAL UP or MAN UP?


There are plenty of people who believe that the Packers season is a wash, having dropped three straight games against NFC opponents. Let’s face it: our tiebreakers are all but demolished at this point. The only real chance that Green Bay has of making the playoffs would be to win the NFC North division. And the only way that happens? To win out against the Vikings, Lions and Bears in the next 6 weeks, not to mention … cross our fingers that their seasons begin to tank this week.

That is a lot of help needed.

Should we even be worrying about the playoffs this year? This is probably one of the worst ravaged seasons due to injury that the Packers have faced in a long, long time. Yes, 2010 is the famous “Next Man Up” foundation but we were lucky to get healthy at just the right time. Does that happen twice in four years? I’m not so sure.

Will Aaron Rodgers be handing off for the Packers any time soon?

Raymond T. Rivard photograph

Why risk our MVP QB to further injury for a season that is circling the bowl? That is what a lot of media, analysts and fans are saying. Why risk the long term? I am sure that the coaching staff and Packers organization has had similar thoughts. What if we rush him back and he takes a big hit that ends his seasons, affects his offseason workouts, or potentially damages his future in the NFL? How terrible that would be. We have 5 more guaranteed years with this guy — let’s let him live them all.

Rodgers, HEAL UP, man. Let Scott Tolzien take the reins here. Let’s see what we’ve got in this young passer. He is already proving to be the backup of the future. Maybe this time is what he needs to prepare for that. Let’s use the rest of this season as an audition for next year. Defensive guys need to be evaluated and re-evaluated. Something needs to be changed on that side of the ball. Maybe it’s time to let some of the young bucks go out and make some noise for a spot on next year’s roster?


Many will say that we are still in the thick of things. I tend to agree more with this logic. Most of the NFC is in a thick conglomerate for the wild card spots still. Maybe there is a chance that the Packers can win out and pull it off? Can we do that without Rodgers? I think if Tolzien continues to improve, we can. But …

… if he thinks he’s ready, who are we to deny Rodgers the ball? With Aaron on the field, it tilts it heavily in the Packers’ favor from the get-go. Defenses have to respect his arm. Holes open up for our
rejuvenated running game. Rodgers is best on the play-action pass. Perhaps just having a semi-healthy Rodgers is better than nothing. His presence under center will bring life back to this team, don’t you think?

The defense plays to get him back the ball. The offense runs flawlessly when he’s taking the snap. The running game is explosive under his management. Let’s get him back on the field. Sling it up and throw on a jersey, Aaron, we need you.

If the offensive line can protect him and the defense will play hard for him — it’ll be difficult to argue that things are better when he’s on the field.

So, what do you think, world?
Heal up, or Man up?