The Packers' official Twitter account announced Friday that Rodgers would be out for the sixth consecutive game:
Final injury report: Rodgers out— Green Bay Packers (@packers) December 13, 2013
Rodgers threw only two passes when he fractured his collarbone against the Chicago Bears in Week 9, so it's really going to be approximately seven games after this week. Green Bay is 1-4-1 in the span since Rodgers went down but did win its most recent contest 22-21 over the Atlanta Falcons.
Packers head coach Mike McCarthy added some more details on Friday, noting that it's been frustrating for Rodgers not to be able to play, since he is itching to get back to the gridiron and feels he has the physical faculties to do so:
MM: Difficult morning. Rodgers disappointed & frustrated. Feels he's ready to play. No scan this morning. Doctor says no. Right decision.— Green Bay Packers (@packers) December 13, 2013
MM: Rodgers wants to play. Feels what he can do physically means he's ready. Not easy to tell franchise QB he can't play.— Green Bay Packers (@packers) December 13, 2013
The onus will be on backup Matt Flynn to lead the Packers' offense yet again, but he at least has experience in McCarthy's system and is coming off his best game of the season (24-of-32 passing for 258 yards and the game-winning touchdown).
Whenever the Pack get Rodgers back, their chances of contending for a Super Bowl should be greatly enhanced. They return to the site in Dallas where they last won the Lombardi Trophy in Super Bowl XLV.
The problem is, time is running out—even though Green Bay is just a half-game behind the Detroit Lions in the NFC North division.
Which team is likelier to win their division ahead of Week 15?
The good news is that Flynn faces an extremely favorable matchup in the Cowboys. America's Team gives up more total yards than anyone but should be able to put points on the board with a high-powered offense led by quarterback Tony Romo.
Dallas is 7-6 and vying for the NFC East division title, where it trails Philadelphia by one game. But the Cowboys are also 5-1 at home this season, and Romo's passer rating is 105.1, compared to 91.9 on the road.
It's somewhat concerning that the Packers yield 25.1 points per game and are in the bottom third of the league against both the run (25th) and the pass (21st).
If this one turns into a shootout, Rodgers would come in handy, that's for sure. Whether or not Flynn would be able to keep up with a Romo-led Cowboys attack firing on all cylinders is a different matter.
At least on paper, Flynn appears to be in a position to succeed, given the opponent. However, with two games remaining after this against Pittsburgh and division-rival Chicago in the regular-season finale, it is a must-win for Green Bay to keep pace in the NFC North and sustain its postseason potential.
A Rodgers return seems feasible, considering how able he feels to hit the gridiron.
For now, this adversity will either make or break the Packers' 2013 campaign, because a loss in Week 15 may be too deep of a hole to dig out of—even for the brilliant Rodgers if he comes back at the next opportunity.