I had another opportunity to talk with scout Chris Landry on the Steve Duemig show on Friday. Chris is one of the very best in the business regarding player evaluation in the NFL and in college football.
I asked Chris about the short-term future of the Packers, as they will play multiple games without quarterback Aaron Rodgers due to a broken clavicle injury. The time frame for his absence could be anywhere from four weeks to six weeks.
Others have speculated that Rodgers might miss only three weeks. That's possible perhaps, depending on the nature of the break. I too have suffered a broken left clavicle, and I would say that four weeks sounds more realistic in terms of when No. 12 might be back if all went well with the healing process.
Landry talked about how Seneca Wallace will do from here on out as the starting quarterback until Rodgers gets back after I mentioned that Wallace will get all the reps in practice this week.
I think people need to understand, and the first point you made was great, is that when the backup quarterback goes in the game, it's completely different from when he is starting the next week. As you alluded to, you don't get starting reps when you are the backup. But when you are now the starter, which Seneca Wallace is, he's going to have a better feel. More of the offense will be at his disposal. He won't be Aaron Rodgers. You're right in that they can run the football and they are going to need to. They are going to run a lot of safe passes and get him (Wallace) out of the pocket and do some of the things that he can do well.
Chris also talked about what else needs to happen for the Packers to be successful in the absence of Rodgers.
More is going to asked of the defense. I think that they can be competitive. I think that this is a dangerous game against Philly. I think that Philly maybe is finding their offense a little bit. Listen, this is what your backup quarterbacks are there to do. And this is why you bring up a Scott Tolzien. Because he's had enough familiarity with the offense, so now he is in the best position to be your number two guy, because now he is your number two guy in the current scenario.
Landry also talked about some of the silver lining that came out of the injury to Rodgers, when there were so many ominous feelings initially on Monday night.
Look at the positive. When he (Rodgers) went out, I don't know at that point if his season's not over Monday night. I'm grateful at least that maybe he can come back. We'll see and how effective (he'll be). I don't think it's all doom and gloom. As you said Bob, it's part of football.
Chris also talked about how the NFC North divisional race shapes up because of the injury to No. 12.
Now, I would put them (the Packers) behind Chicago and Detroit in that division, just because they have to stem the tide a little bit. But I just wouldn't count out the Pack yet. I think they are going to hold their own, and we'll just see how effective Aaron can be and how healthy he can be coming back. I think this team is better around him than it has been, so they are going to need to step up and prove it. It's probably going to come down to the next four or five games. Do they play their way out of it, or play their way in it? Detroit is really good, but boy they make a ton of mistakes. Chicago is playing really good from the backup quarterback position, and they give themselves a chance. (Jay) Cutler is going to be back before long. I mean it's not easy, but I think they (the Packers) have got a shot.
Landry then gave a definitive answer about what it's going to take for the Packers to move forward to the postseason.
Bottom line to Bob's question, can they (the Packers) find a way to make the playoffs without him (Rodgers)? Because that's what it comes down to. When he comes back, you put him back in and they have a chance to make a run if they make it. But do they play themselves out of it in their division? I have to put them third without Aaron Rodgers behind the other two (Chicago and Detroit). But who knows?