Two days after his three-interception return to the field, the Green Bay Packers are sending quarterback Aaron Rodgers to injured reserve with their playoff hopes shot.
Rodgers, who missed seven games after he broke his right clavicle on Oct. 15 at Minnesota, was cleared to return last week against the Panthers. But after the Packers lost at Carolina and the Falcons won on Monday night, Green Bay was eliminated from playoff consideration with two games to play. It's the first time the Packers will miss the postseason since Rodgers' first year as a starter (2008).
Per ESPN, Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Rodgers did not experience a setback with his collarbone against the Panthers and would not say if this move would have been made if his team was still in playoff contention.
"With all the factors involved, we felt this was clearly in Aaron Rodgers' best interest," McCarthy said. "He's not happy about it. It's a hard day for him. This is not the way -- I don't think -- any player wants to see their season come to a conclusion, being on IR. We all understand and appreciate and respect his competitive spirit, but we felt as an organization this was in his best interest."
Rodgers threw three touchdowns in his return against the Panthers but also was sacked three times and threw three interceptions -- the first time he's been picked off that many times in a game since 2009. McCarthy said Rodgers was sore after taking "a number of hits" against the Panthers.