Originally Published: October 16, 2017 6 a.m.
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Aaron Rodgers’ season may have ended after an injury, just a week after the same thing happened to J.J. Watt and Odell Beckham Jr.
It’s been a painful stretch for some of the NFL’s biggest stars.
Rodgers broke his collarbone Sunday in Green Bay’s 23-10 loss to Minnesota, and the Packers’ Super Bowl hopes could be lost right along with him.
Watt wrote on Twitter that he was “gutted” for Rodgers, who led the Packers to the NFC championship game last season and had them off to a 4-1 start this year.
“Losing Aaron Rodgers speaks for itself,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “In my opinion, he’s the best player in football. This is the ultimate team game. We need to be better with the 11 people on the field that we have, regardless of the phase that we’re in. Ultimately that’s my responsibility.”
Jameis Winston also was lost early in Tampa Bay’s game at Arizona, though the Buccaneers made a spirited surge after he left before falling 38-33.
The Packers couldn’t do anything behind Rodgers’ replacement, Brett Hundley, who finished 18 of 33 for 157 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions. Practice squad player Joe Callahan is the only other quarterback on the roster, but McCarthy indicated the Packers won’t be out looking for a big-name veteran such as Colin Kaepernick.
“Brett Hundley and Joe Callahan, that’s what we’re going with,” he said.
Rodgers was hurt when linebacker Anthony Barr drove him into the turf after he got rid of a roll-out pass. Rodgers writhed on the turf as McCarthy argued for a roughing-the-passer penalty.
For the first time this season, the Packers’ starting offensive line was intact, though that lasted about half of the game. Right tackle Bryan Bulaga was knocked out of action with a concussion and left tackle David Bakhtiari’s hamstring injury flared up. He missed the past four games.
The Packers, who were already missing three starting defensive backs, lost backup cornerback Quinten Rollins to an ankle injury.
If he can’t make it back, Rodgers joins the likes of Watt, Houston’s defensive leader who broke his leg, and Beckham, who broke his ankle in the Giants’ loss last week.
Like Rodgers, Winston hurt his throwing shoulder when he was tackled. X-rays were negative and he will have an MRI to determine the extent of the injury.
He said he’s had the injury before.
“I’ll be back soon,” Winston said.
Jacksonville’s Leonard Fournette also expects to be fine after leaving the Jaguars’ loss to the Rams with a right ankle injury. He had a 75-yard touchdown run earlier in the game and finished with 130 yards on 21 carries before departing late in the game.
Already without Jeremy Maclin, the Baltimore Ravens lost another receiver when Breshad Perriman went out with a second-quarter concussion. Tight end Maxx Williams also hurt his ankle while losing a fumble and did not return, but the Ravens nearly rallied before falling 27-24 in overtime to the Chicago Bears. Baltimore came back with a punt and a kickoff return for touchdowns against a Chicago team that lost special teams captain Sherrick McManus to a hamstring injury.
Pittsburgh linebacker Vince Williams had a pair of sacks in Kansas City but left in the second half with a hip injury. The Steelers also lost right tackle Marcus Gilbert, who had missed three weeks with a hamstring injury, in the first half after he aggravated it.
Redskins cornerback Bashaud Breeland will have an MRI on his left knee after being on the receiving end of a low block in a 26-24 victory over San Francisco. Coach Jay Gruden said it was an MCL issue.