GREEN BAY – Mike McCarthy couldn’t lie Tuesday. While the Green Bay Packers coach knew he had to stay focused on the task at hand during Monday night’s loss to the Chicago Bears, he confessed that he kept hoping quarterback Aaron Rodgers would return from the locker room and have his Willis Reed moment on Monday Night Football.
“The game’s moving and you can’t take your eyes off the field, especially as a head coach,” McCarthy said Tuesday, following the Packers’ 27-20 loss to the Chicago Bears without Rodgers, who suffered a broken collarbone on the opening drive of the game.
“I was peeking at the tunnel, I’m not going to lie to you there, waiting for Aaron to run back out there. But you have to keep coaching. It’s the same thing you tell your players. You’ve got to keep playing and that’s why you need every player.”
While the Packers lost the game without their star quarterback McCarthy is hoping his guys will keep playing this week, against Philadelphia, and for as long as Rodgers is sidelined. Backup Seneca Wallace is expected to start Sunday, and it’s unclear how many weeks Rodgers will miss while the clavicle heals. But the best news Tuesday was that the injury is not considered season-ending at this point.
“We’re in a week-to-week mindset, is my understanding, talking with the medical staff. So, we’ll see how it goes,” McCarthy said. “The information (Monday) night was not clear after the game. The doctors felt much better (Tuesday) than they did (Monday) night, based on the new information.”
After having an x-ray on Monday night, Rodgers underwent MRI exams and more tests Tuesday at a local hospital. Those tests confirmed the break in his clavicle but gave the medical staff reason for optimism.
“I’m relieved, no doubt,” McCarthy said. “You talk to the doctors after the game, talk to Aaron after talking to the doctors … (I felt) better talking to Aaron than I did talking to our medical staff. With the new information that was given today, everybody felt better about it. How long (will he be out)? 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.”
Asked if Rodgers could be ruled out for Sunday against the Eagles, McCarthy replied, “We rule players out on Friday, but I'll just say this: I'm preparing Seneca to be the starter, that's the way our game-planning has gone. But let's not kid ourselves, if he walked in your office and asked for the ball on Saturday, what would you do? So, we'll just see what happens.”
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