Matt Flynn Named Starting QB for Packers After Aaron Rodgers Ruled Out vs. Lions

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistNovember 27, 2013

Nov 17, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Matt Flynn (10) drops back to pass during warmups before the start of a game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy announced Matt Flynn will start at quarterback for the team's Thanksgiving game against the Detroit Lions in Week 13. Aaron Rodgers remains sidelined due to a collarbone injury.

The Packers passed along the announcement on Twitter:

Rob Demovsky of ESPN adds that Rodgers has been officially ruled out:

Flynn replaced an ineffective Scott Tolzien in the second half of the last week's game against the Minnesota Vikings. He completed 21 of 36 passes for 218 yards and a touchdown as the two teams played out a rare tie. He created a spark and helped Green Bay erase a 16-point deficit in the process

That was enough for the Packers to hand him first-team work in practice and now the start with Rodgers sidelined.

Facing the Lions should bring back good memories for Flynn. Two years ago, he got a chance to lead the Packers offense in the regular-season finale against Detroit. The result was 480 passing yards and six touchdowns in a 45-41 triumph.

He's bounced around the league since that game, making stops with the Seattle Seahawks, Oakland Raiders and Buffalo Bills before making his way back to Green Bay.   

The Packers would be ecstatic if he can come anywhere close to that 2011 performance in this game. That said, they will likely be content if he can simply limit mistakes and make enough plays on third downs and in the red zone to keep them in the game.

Green Bay is trying to stay within striking distance in the NFC wild-card race until Rodgers is cleared to return. It is currently a half-game behind the Lions and Chicago Bears in the NFC North, so a win on Thursday would be huge.

Flynn will be a key factor in whether or not the Packers come out on top.