I’m pretty sure that I wasn’t the only Packers follower who couldn’t help but reflect on the irony of Green Bay legend Brett Favre managing to still get top billing in Packers Nation the day after Aaron Rodgers suffered his second concussion of the season.
Obviously, Rodgers’ status at the moment couldn’t be a bigger concern for anyone with any kind of rooting interest in a team that continues to be haunted by injuries more than perhaps any team I have ever covered in my 30-plus years spent at Pro Football Weekly.
But leave it to Favre to make Rodgers an afterthought after his league-record streak of consecutive starts ended at 297 Monday night, courtesy of a shoulder injury he suffered the previous week.
I suspect many of you share my belief that Favre’s consecutive-start record is one of the more amazing records in the history of professional sports — a tremendous testament to true gridiron grit that will probably stand the test of time.
I also know how many times Favre’s streak almost came to an abrupt halt because of the numerous assaults on his body parts that would have sidelined most of his QB counterparts. That he showed no fear, constantly subjecting his body to the threat of serious injury in the line of fire, is one of his more revered qualities.
Which brings me back to Rodgers, who was chewed out so emphatically by head coach Mike McCarthy late Monday morning for the recklessness he displayed in not sliding on the play that could end up cooking the Packers’ goose but good.
Clearly, Rodgers did indeed put himself more in harm’s way by not sliding. But I fear McCarthy’s reprimand could result in a more tentative approach by Rodgers moving forward, which is exactly the last thing the Packers need.
As I type this rant, though, the major focus is on Rodgers’ availability for the Patriots in prime time this Sunday evening. As a point of reference, he didn’t look nearly as dazed and confused as Jay Cutler did when the Bears’ QB suffered a concussion that forced him to miss a start. Standing on the sideline in the second half of the Lions game, Rodgers looked reasonably lucid.
But I’ve got to tell you: This team’s nonstop injury barrage seems like a pretty bad omen — as if facing a Patriots team that absolutely destroyed the Bears last week wasn’t already enough of a problem.