GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Monday night’s NFC North contest was never destined to be a matchup of two elite quarterbacks. The Bears' Jay Cutler was inactive due to a groin injury, leaving reserve Josh McCown to match blows with Aaron Rodgers. But, when Rodgers left the game with a shoulder injury following his team’s first drive, it quickly became a battle of the backups under the stars at Lambeau Field.
Bears defensive end Shea McClellin ended Rodgers’ night when he landed on the All-Pro quarterback, who fell on his non-throwing left shoulder, less than three minutes into the game. Although the Packers never gave an official update during or after the 27-20 loss to the Bears, some reports believe Rodgers may have suffered a fractured left collarbone, including WBBM’s Zach Zaidman.
“They want to run more tests,” Packers head coach Mike McCarthy said. “They don’t have an exact diagnosis. That’s where we are.”
While the Packers players didn’t seem any more informed of the severity of the injury than their head coach, they certainly understand who they were missing on the field against the Bears and were cautiously optimistic about their signal caller’s health.
“He’s the heart and soul of this team – offense and defense,” Rookie running back Eddie Lacy, who rushed for a career-high 150 yards and touchdown, said following the loss. “It took a lot out of us.”
Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson caught the only completion of the night made by Rodgers. He was then quickly forced to regroup and move on with the team’s reserve, 10-year NFL veteran Seneca Wallace.
“We don’t want to lose anyone, especially our quarterback, and someone who’s that good,” Nelson said. “Sometimes it happens. I think Seneca (Wallace) came in and did alright. We were able to make some plays, just not enough.”
Depending on the length of Rodgers' absence, one would question if Wallace, who was 11-for-19 with 114 yards with one touchdown and an interception, can provide the Packers offense with enough to beat out the Detroit Lions and the Bears for the division title.
“He’s the best quarterback in the league,” Defensive tackle B.J. Raji said. “Take what you want from that. But that’s why it’s a team game. We have to step up and play better on defense.”