Rodgers fractures collarbone, Pack lose to Bears
GREEN BAY - ESPN said Aaron Rodgers had a small fracture in his collarbone early in last night's Green Bay Packers' 27-20 home loss to Chicago. The network's Adam Schefter said the word from NFL sources is that Rodgers could miss around three weeks.
There's been no confirmation from the Packers -- who say they'll wait for more tests today to determine Rodgers' injury and status. Rodgers was hurt on the final play of the Packers' first possession. He took the Pack to the Chicago nine-yard-line on third down, when linebacker Shea McClellin tackled Rodgers and threw his left shoulder to the ground. It was only the second time since Rodgers became Green Bay's starting quarterback in 2008 that he left a game early due to injury.
33-year-old Seneca Wallace had a 53.4 passer rating in relief of Rodgers last night with 114 passing yards and a pick. He was also sacked four times, as Green Bay only converted one-of-eight third downs with Wallace in the game. Head Coach Mike McCarthy said the Packers need to do a better job in its passing game -- and Wallace will benefit from a week of practice as the No. 1 signal-caller. The Packers have a short week of preparation in getting ready for Sunday's home matchup against Philadelphia. If the Packers decide that Wallace is not the answer, they could promote ex-University of Wisconsin quarterback Scott Tolzien from the practice squad. Also, former Packer Matt Flynn was cut by Buffalo -- his third team this season.
With Rodgers gone, last night's game became a battle of journeyman backup quarterbacks. Chicago's Josh McCown had a bye week to prepare, and he played mistake-free football as he threw for 272 yards and a pair of touchdowns to Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. Seneca Wallace -- playing in his first meaningful game in two years -- completed 11-of-19 for the Packers for just 114 yards and an interception. Eddie Lacy ran for 150 yards and a touchdown. James Starks scored Green Bay's other TD from 32 yards out. Matt Forte ran for 125 yards and a touchdown, and had 54 receiving yards. Jordy Nelson led the Packer receivers with 67 yards on four catches. The Packer defense struggled, giving up 442 total yards while racking up 312 themselves. Jeffery put Chicago in front for good with a six-yard touchdown catch late in the third quarter.
The Packers, Chicago, and Detroit are all tied for first in the NFC North Division at 5-3. Green Bay lost after winning six straight overall from Chicago. It was also the Pack's first home loss to the Bears since October of 2007, their first home division loss since 2009 after winning 10 straight, and their first home defeat overall since Opening Day of last year against San Francisco. The Packers will host Philadelphia on Sunday, a week after Eagles' quarterback Nick Foles through seven touchdown passes against Oakland.
Three other Packers were also hurt last night. Guard T.J. Lang left with a concussion. Linebacker Andy Mulumba left with a bad knee. And linebacker Sam Barrington hurt a hamstring.