Absolutely do not ever, for any reason, consider hitting the "drop" button on Aaron Rodgers due to his current battle with a collarbone injury. Forget any trade musings as well.
Yes, Seneca Wallace is currently the man under center for the Green Bay Packers, and fantasy darling Rodgers is sidelined with a broken collarbone, per ESPN's Rob Demovsky:
Rodgers: "I think we'll know more as the week goes on, but I do have a fractured collarbone. Significant injury. More abt timetable later."— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) November 5, 2013
No, that does not mean it is time to jump ship in what is a very deep position this year.
Hey, there's a case to be made for dropping Rodgers. After all, he is in the midst of a "down" year:
|Aaron Rodgers||8*||168||251||2,218||66.9||15||4||108.0||146 (8th)|
ESPN, *2 attempts before injury in last start.
Seven quarterbacks have scored more points than Rodgers this year in ESPN standard leagues.
There are two important things to remember about Rodgers' injury at this point.
One—no one truly knows when he'll return. The timetable is as vague as possible at this point because the injury could heal at an unexpected rate.
As Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports points out, the suggested timetable is anywhere between 4-6 weeks:
Said on @FOXSportsLive, source pins it at roughly 4-6 weeks for Aaron Rodgers. Fourth week tricky b/c T'giving game is 3.5 wks from injury.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) November 6, 2013
That's fine, but a quote from coach Mike McCarthy via Chris Wesseling of NFL.com suggests Rodgers is "week-to-week." Rodgers himself explains he'll be back as soon as possible:
You can put yourself at greater risk for a worse injury if you go back out there. But I think most people know my personality and I'm going to try and be back as quick as I can.
Which bring us to our next point—the injury itself is to Rodgers' non-throwing shoulder, which not only further encourages him to return sooner, but it means the star quarterback will be just fine when he does as he won't have to regain form or strength in his throwing arm.
The schedule for the Packers also plays a factor. Several cupcake matchups line the slate of time Rodgers is supposed to miss, including dates with horrific defenses, before the Thanksgiving showdown with Detroit.
|Week||Opponent||Pass Defense||Rush Defense||Points Per Game|
|10||Philadelphia Eagles||32nd (307.6)||14th (111.8)||21st (25.7)|
|11||New York Giants||16th (242.0)||9th (102.3)||28th (27.9)|
|12||Minnesota Vikings||29th (285.7)||15th (113.7)||30th (31)|
Say Green Bay manages to win two of those games, meaning the holiday matchup with Detroit is for first place in the NFC North, not to mention for a potential No. 1 or 2 seed.
Does anyone in their right mind think Rodgers would miss that contest?
Rodgers will be back sooner rather than later, even if it's a quick pass offense to avoid extended time in the pocket to avoid hits on the injured area. As it turns out, that's just fine with weapons such as Jordy Nelson, Eddie Lacy and James Jones.
As hinted, the quarterback position is so deep that it makes the loss of Rodgers easy to overcome.
When Rodgers does return—say worst-case scenario in Week 15—he'll have an easy slate of games to finish out his year with three out of four games against pass defenses ranked 19th or worse, with the exception of a Pittsburgh defense that just gave up over 400 yards and four touchdowns to Tom Brady.
We're talking about a guy in Rodgers who has scored 20 or more points in four of his eight starts, counting his early exit against Chicago when he suffered the injury.
How should Rodgers be handled?
Rodgers is matchup-proof and better yet, has an injury that won't impact his performance when he comes back. Even better, for the first time in a long time, Rodgers' line is playing well, and he's only been sacked 18 times.
There's no point in dealing Rodgers as the returns won't equal what he's capable of upon his return. To release Rodgers outright is a fantasy sin.
So kick back, grab a Nick Foles. Grab a Jake Locker. Heck, grab a Jason Campbell or Case Keenum. Play the matchups right, and win without Rodgers until his return.
Owners who stick it out and continue to believe in Rodgers will be greatly rewarded down the stretch.