The Green Bay Packers' playoff hopes were dealt a significant blow Sunday during a 31-24 loss to the Carolina Panthers, but head coach Mike McCarthy isn't quite ready to rule quarterback Aaron Rodgers out for the Week 16 contest against the Minnesota Vikings.
On Monday, he said, "Aaron Rodgers is sore. He was hit too many times. We'll see what tomorrow brings."
The loss to Carolina was Rodgers' first game back from the broken collarbone he suffered in an October contest against the Vikings.
Carolina sacked Rodgers three times and consistently pressured the six-time Pro Bowler during his 45 pass attempts. Rodgers finished with 290 yards and three touchdowns through the air, but he also threw three interceptions in defeat.
The Vikings are the team he suffered the injury against in the first place and are 12th in the league with 35 sacks. It is not much of a stretch to assume the Packers will be playing from behind considering Minnesota is 11-3, which would again put Rodgers in a situation where he was forced to frequently drop back and risk further injury.
The 7-7 Packers are in 10th place in the NFC and looking up at the 8-5 Atlanta Falcons and 8-6 Detroit Lions, Seattle Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys in the race for the final NFC wild-card spot with just two games remaining. If the Falcons beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday, it will eliminate the Packers from playoff contention.
That would likely make McCarthy's decision on Rodgers' availability more straightforward.