Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy talks to quarterback
Seneca Wallace during the second half of an NFL football
game against the Chicago Bears Monday, Nov. 4, 2013, in
Green Bay, Wis. The Bears won 27-20.
GREEN BAY — The
Packers' franchise quarterback is taking a seat.
said Tuesday he has a fractured left collarbone and has no idea
yet how long he will be out.
The 2011 NFL MVP
offered details of the injury on his weekly radio show on 540-AM
ESPN. He got hurt after getting sacked by the Bears' Shea
McClellin on a third-down play during the Packers' first series
while he was scrambling outside the pocket. He hurt his left,
"I do have a
fractured collarbone. That's a significant injury," Rodgers
said. "We'll know more about the severity and the timetable
later this week."
Rodgers said he
was holding out hope he would heal quickly. "In this case, it
was considerably more pain than I've felt in a long time," he
groan you heard came from the state of Wisconsin.
The sliver of
good news for the Packers: coach Mike McCarthy indicated that the
injury won't end Rodgers' season. He sounded much more optimistic
than after Monday night's 27-20 loss to Chicago.
relieved, no doubt," McCarthy told reporters at Lambeau
Field. "With the new information that was given today,
everybody felt better about it. How long? We don't have our hands
around a timeline yet, but I know Aaron is very optimistic and
he'll do everything he can to get back in a timely fashion."
So in steps
Seneca Wallace, who wasn't even in Packers training camp this
offseason, to take over the offense when the Philadelphia Eagles
on Sunday. Wallace was signed before the week of the season opener
after Green Bay jettisoned three other backup candidates.
ineffective in relief in the 27-20 loss against the Bears,
finishing 11 for 19 for 114 yards and an interception. It was his
first game since Jan. 1, 2012.
Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers, right, talks to Chicago Bears'
Jay Cutler after an NFL football game Monday, Nov. 4, 2013,
in Green Bay, Wis. The Bears won the game 27-20.
The Packers can
wait until Friday to officially rule out injured players, but
McCarthy said "I'm preparing Seneca to be the starter, that's
the way our game-planning has gone."
Yet he seemed to
leave open a glimmer of miraculous hope.
not kid ourselves, if (Rodgers) walked in your office and asked
for the ball on Saturday, what would you do," he asked
rhetorically. "So, we'll just see what happens."
On a team rocked
all season by injuries, Rodgers had been a rock. The Packers had
reeled off four straight wins despite being without top players
like linebacker Clay Matthews (thumb), Randall Cobb (leg) and
Jermichael Finley (neck).
might be the most devastating blow of all.
accuracy and footwork have been typically top-notch. Protected by
an improved offensive line, and complemented by a rejuvenated
running game, the Packers looked to be serious NFC contenders
again considering guys like Matthews and Cobb were expected to
Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is sacked by Chicago
Bears' Shea McClellin (99) and Isaiah Frey (31) during the
first half of an NFL football game Monday, Nov. 4, 2013, in
Green Bay, Wis. Rodgers left the game after the play.
Monday night having completed 67 percent of his 249 pass attempts
for 2,191 yards and a 108.0 quarterback rating. He has 15
touchdown passes and four interceptions.
And since taking
over for the equally dependable Brett Favre in 2008, Rodgers has
only missed a game due to injury once — on Dec. 19, 2010, for a
emotional at one point during his 15-minute radio appearance when
he described the reception he got from fans as he walked back to
sideline in green warmups in the third quarter.
"We put our
bodies on the line. We do it because we love this game. But when I
walked back out on that field — I'm getting a little choked up
here just thinking about it," Rodgers said, "that was
one of the top five moments of my career there."
Notes: Finley was
placed on injured reserve Tuesday, officially ending his season.
Finley, a free agent after this season, has said he plans to play
again. "The medical decision made for Jermichael was in the
best interest of him as a man, as a father, as a husband. This
wasn't about football, we were not going to take that
chance," McCarthy said. ... Matthews will try to practice
this week with a club after having pins removed from his injured
right thumb. ... The team also placed linebacker Sam Barrington
(hamstring) on injured reserve, and activated tackle Derek Sherrod
from the reserve/physically unable to perform list. Sherrod, a
first-round draft pick in 2001, hasn't played since breaking his
leg in December 2011.
GREEN BAY —
Packers tight end Jermichael Finley is done for the season after
the team placed him on injured reserve.
Ted Thompson announced the move Tuesday. Finley had to be carried
off on a stretcher after suffering a spinal cord contusion while
being tackled Oct. 20 against the Browns.
Finley has said
he plans to return to football. He was having a good year with 25
catches for 300 yards and three touchdowns.
Green Bay also
placed linebacker Sam Barrington (hamstring) on injured reserve,
and activated tackle Derek Sherrod from the reserve/physically
unable to perform list.
first-round draft pick in 2001, hasn't played since breaking his
leg at Kansas City on Dec. 18, 2011.
Packers get ready with Wallace at QB
GREEN BAY, Wis. — Seneca Wallace has an
unofficial — but well-paid — quarterbacks coach in Aaron
Sidelined by a fractured left collarbone, Rodgers could only
watch in green warmups while Wallace ran through drills
Wednesday at practice.
The process of getting Rodgers' presumed replacement up to speed
for Green Bay's game Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles has
begun in earnest.
"You're still learning," Wallace said. "You're never going to
get comfortable. Aaron, he's learning each and every day, when
we come out here, even though he's been here a long time,
there's always something new."
But it sure helps being able to practice with the first-team
offense, instead of being relegated to just running through a
handful of plays a week.
"Everybody will be much better off," coach Mike McCarthy said.
"Not only just Seneca being comfortable going through the reps,
but everybody else being comfortable with Seneca."
Wallace is considered a mobile quarterback. He has been around
the NFL since 2003, when he was drafted in the fourth round by
the Seattle Seahawks. He has played in 63 games, starting 21,
and McCarthy doesn't think recognizing defenses will be an
It's more about the coaching staff fitting the game plan around
Wallace's skill set, then the backup trying to be the next
Rodgers, the 2011 NFL MVP.
"You just have to try to adapt. Like I said, it is up-tempo,
fast pace, and try to emulate some of the things he does,"
Wallace said. "Obviously, it's not all going to be the same, but
just try to make sure the receivers and everybody (are) on the
After Rogers was injured early against Chicago, Wallace was
largely ineffective in a 27-20 loss, finishing 11 for 19 for 114
yards and an interception in his first regular-season action
since Jan. 1, 2012, when he started for Cleveland in a 13-9 loss
to Pittsburgh. For his career, Wallace has a 59 percent
completion rate with 31 touchdowns and 19 interceptions.
He'll join a small club. The Packers have had just three
starters over the last 22 years — Brett Favre (253 games),
Rodgers (86) and Matt Flynn (two).
"It's going to be a good challenge. Obviously, when you lose
someone of that caliber, no matter where it is," receiver Jordy
Nelson said. "But a quarterback is a little more important.
We're all confident in Seneca."
Rodgers has his back. He was officially listed Wednesday on the
practice report as having not participated. Coaches don't have
to officially rule out players until Friday for a Sunday game.
There was Rodgers at the indoor practice facility, hands on
knees a few yards behind the quarterback coach, watching Wallace
and newly-called up backup Scott Tolzien take practice snaps
during light drills. At one point, Rodgers dropped back on his
own without the ball and ran through the motions. Facing Tolzien
from about 10 yards away, he leaned over with emphasis while
watching a pass sail by, as if trying to will the ball to a
"Aaron's going about it just as if he were playing in the game,"
McCarthy said. "He's going right through it right next to
Notes: Tolzien, a third-year player who played at
Wisconsin, was signed off the practice squad to serve as
Wallace's backup. ... LB Clay Matthews, coming back from a thumb
injury, sported a club on his right hand while talking to
position coach Kevin Greene during a portion of practice
Wednesday open to reporters. He's missed four games. ... LBs
Andy Mulumba (ankle) and Nick Perry (foot) were limited. G T.J.
Lang (concussion) did not participate. ... T Derek Sherrod, the
team's 2011 first-round draft pick, took part in his first
practice since being activated from the reserve/physically
unable to perform list. He broke his leg in a game in December
2011. ... The team signed Alex Gillett to the practice squad.
The rookie, who was with the Packers as an undrafted free agent
through training camp started 30 games at quarterback and three
at receiver at Eastern Michigan.