Packers injuries, injuries, and more injuries have brought this franchise to its knees in the past, but today’s blows have been gut-wrenching, to say the least.
Aaron Rodgers started a steady line to the bench as players went down left and right once again for the Green Bay Packers in their 23-10 loss to division rival Minnesota Vikings.
None hurt more than when Rodgers went to the ground hard after throwing a lob that was dropped by tight end Martellus Bennett.
Though many thought Vikings’ linebacker Anthony Barr‘s hit on Rodgers was dirty, I wouldn’t go that far. While devastating, the hit was probably more unnecessary than dirty. He saw Rodgers get rid of the ball and he could have slowed his momentum and pushed Rodgers instead.
That’s my opinion.
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But it doesn’t matter at this point, the damage has been done and the team has got to find a way to recover.
There’s still plenty of season left from which to recover.
The only saving grace of today’s disaster is that the rest of the division is also in disarray.
The Lions got killed by the Saints today (the Packers’ next opponent), and the Bears … well, they are the Bears.
Beyond the loss of Rodgers, possibly for the remainder of the season, the losses along the offensive line – guard Lane Taylor, left Tackle David Bakhtiari, and right tackle Bryan Bulaga – were critical at the end of the game when the Packers still were not out of it.
However, with three-fifths of their line down to the third and fourth string, putting together an offensive drive was impossible.
Not only did the Packers cut their offensive playbook in half when backup quarterback Brett Hundley came in for Rodgers, but the loss of key offensive linemen stifled any type of momentum needed for a comeback.
While Green Bay’s head coach Mike McCarthy is dealing with a new quarterback, he is now faced with the fact that he must also get a new O-line ready to play if the injured stay that way.
That’s a tall order.
The demolished offensive line is nearly as devastating as the loss of Rodgers.
This team is bleeding internally and major surgery is needed.
Is Brett Hundley up to the challenge of winning six to eight games for the Packers yet this season for a chance at the playoffs?
He could be if he’s got a full slate of players on the field with him. If he’s going to be playing with third and fourth string offensive linemen, the Packers don’t have a chance.
Consider next week … when the Saints come marching into town with one of the most active and punishing defenses in the league – at least lately.
The challenges are significant and the mountain in front of this team is steep – very steep.
One thing is for certain – at least for the next six to eight weeks – Brett Hundley is the starting quarterback and Joe Calloway is his backup.
If Rodgers is shelved for the year, they are the guys.
That’s an unusual situation for this team, but one that must see players step up and earn their money.
Otherwise, this season could be over by Thanksgiving.
Now that would be unusual.