There were some scary few moments in the first half of Sunday night’s Chicago Bears-Green Bay Packers game when quarterback Aaron Rodgers went down and clutched his left leg, walking gingerly off the field after a minute or two.
A visit to the sideline medical tent followed, and then Rodgers was carted back to the home locker room at Lambeau Field.
But Rodgers returned to play after halftime, adding to his legend by bringing Green Bay back from 20-0 down to lead the team to a 24-23 win.
Did the win come with a price?
Rodgers’ injury wasn’t serious enough to sideline him on Sunday night, at least we should assume, given that he returned to finish the game.
But what about the day after? Did the win over the Packers’ longtime rival come with a steep price?
Speaking to media at his day-after news conference on Monday afternoon, coach Mike McCarthy offered no concrete answer on Rodgers’ status.
“Well…we’re still collecting all the information on his specific situation,” McCarthy said when asked if there’s “any doubt” that Rodgers will play in Week 2 against Minnesota. “I know Aaron wants to play and is always driven to play, but that’s all I have for right now.”
When will that collection process be concluded?
“We’re working on it. That’s all I have for right now,” McCarthy said. “If the next four questions are the same, I mean, just ditto the answer. We are where we are.”
(Pssst, Mike, your team just paid Rodgers a record contract last week and he’s kind of important to your team’s fortunes. When you didn’t have him last year, your season went down the drain.)
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted after McCarthy’s availability that part of the process for medical staff is seeing if Rodgers’ knee swelling goes down and “how it responds.”
Offense was preparing for DeShone Kizer
While McCarthy tried to stop follow-up questions, he did get a salient one, given that McCarthy was giving no firm answers on Monday: how was the decision made that Rodgers could play again on Sunday night?
“Anytime a player is injured, particularly when they bring him inside, based on the injury there’s a protocol of what they go through to see if the doctor will clear him to go back out,” McCarthy said. “So, not getting into specifics of each and every injury and the protocols of each and every one, but that process went on throughout the second quarter, into halftime.
“Frankly, we were preparing as an offensive staff to play with DeShone and then shortly before we got out to the field, we got into the tunnel and had a chance to talk to Aaron and Dr. McKenzie [Pat McKenzie is the Packers’ team doctor] and he was cleared to go.”
Kizer, whom Green Bay acquired in a trade with Cleveland earlier this year, finished the first half as Rodgers was being tended to; he was 4-for-7 for 55 yards, but was strip-sacked by Khalil Mack and then intercepted by Mack when he was drilled by Bears’ defensive lineman Roy Robertson-Harris (the same player who fell on Rodgers and forced him out of the game).
Rodgers said after the game that McKenzie determined he couldn’t do further damage, so he was able to play.