The Packers announced on Wednesday that Aaron Rodgers failed a post-season physical and will not play in the Pro Bowl. While players will often come up with an "injury" late in the season to avoid that dreaded trip to Hawaii—the horror!—there is some concern for the Packers star after an early exit from the playoffs. With months before the Packers' next game, Rodgers should have plenty of time to heal (and plan a wedding!).
Mike McCarthy did not offer details on injuries to Rodgers or other players at his press conference Wednesday, other than to say this was a continuation of the knee issue that Rodgers had played through for much of the season. Rodgers had inflammation and soreness, but it did not show in his play at any point this season. Rodgers has said that he needed occasional injections in the knee, but this is not uncommon in the NFL and there is no indication that he will need surgery.
Rodgers also has an ongoing ankle injury. This has been taped and/or braced, but again did not limit him significantly during the season. It is not uncommon for players like Rodgers, even with his mobility, to play through mild ankle sprains. The Packers' medical staff, led by Pepper Burruss, is known for it's ability to keep a player on the field through mild injuries.
Rodgers is no fan of the Pro Bowl, saying that he questioned the effort of the players involved. He wondered if the game was even viable in this era, something the NFL continues to work on. This year's game is scheduled for January 27th. Rodgers will be replaced on the roster by New York Giants QB Eli Manning.
Neither injury, nor the rest for the bumps and bruises an NFL QB takes during the season, cost Rodgers any time or any production. He finished the season with 4,295 passing yards and 39 touchdowns, but led the league in only one category in 2012—times sacked (51). That stat, more than any other, is going to have to change if Rodgers is going to stay healthy next season.
Stats courtesy Pro Football Reference.
Will Carroll has been writing about sports injuries for 12 years. His work has appeared at SI.com, ESPN.com and Football Outsiders.