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Should The Packers End Aaron Rodgers’ Season?

December 15, 2010

Aaron Rodgers’ career began much like that of 49ers legend Steve Young. Both players were second fiddle to Hall of Fame quarterbacks, and both shone when their numbers were finally called. However, while Young put together a Hall of Fame career, the Packers’ signal caller is still creating his legacy.

As Rodgers attempts to emulate Young’s three Super Bowl wins, he is unfortunately following in one of Young’s lesser fortunes as well. Young’s football life was cut short by concussions, and after being knocked out of Sunday’s loss against the Lions, Rodgers has already suffered two concussions this season.

Officially, Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy told reporters Monday that he won’t have “any really concrete information” regarding Rodgers’ status until Thursday.

“He’s just getting ready to start to go through the first procedure, first process of the testing and so forth,” McCarthy said Monday morning.”I just had a chance to visit with him. We’ll go through the protocol that we do with all of our players, and we’ll probably have a little better update for you Wednesday or Thursday, somewhere in that time frame.”

Plenty of people are opining on the chances of Rodgers playing this Sunday night in Foxboro. Sports Illustrated’s Peter King wrote on his Twitter account that he thinks Rodgers will be in the lineup to face the New England Patriots. However, McCarthy said he “wasn’t going to take any chances” by rushing his franchise quarterback back into the lineup. In fact, NFL guidelines prohibit Rodgers from returning until he is “fully asymptotic, both at rest and after exertion; has a normal neurological examination, normal neuropsychological testing; and has been cleared to return by both his team physician and the independent neurological consultant.”

Regardless of the results of concussion tests, the Packers must seriously weigh their options. With Rodgers suffering two concussions in a nine-week period, should the team shut down Rodgers for the rest of the season? I realize this is not a popular idea, but it may be the wise thing to do.

When Rodgers sat on the sideline watching his team fall to the Detroit Lions on Sunday, teammate and friend Donald Driver offered some perspective.

“This is a game,” Driver told Rodgers. “[B]ut this is your life we’re taking about.”

Driver’s sobering reminder of life after football is a point that is often ignored by the fans and media alike. And while the team finds itself in the midst of a playoff hunt, Rodgers and the Packers need to ask themselves whether the future of the franchise is more important than the future of this season.

Rodgers and company are hoping for a Steve Young-like career…just not the same ending.

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