Monday Lowlights: Agony of Defeat

Coach Mike McCarthy says Aaron Rodgers' concussion could keep him out Sunday against Miami and Jermichael Finley needs knee surgery, though it might not end his season. Two key defenders, Clay Matthews and Ryan Pickett, also might not be available for the game.

Every Monday, Mike McCarthy meets with reporters at 11:30 a.m. to talk about the previous day's game. This time, the news conference started a half-hour late.

Not surprisingly, the team's doom-and-gloom medical report had him running behind.

Aaron Rodgers' overtime interception might be the last pass he throws for a couple weeks. He suffered a concussion on what McCarthy termed a "helmet-to-helmet blow" by the Redskins' Jeremy Jarmon on the play. Because of the NFL's new protocol for concussions, he'll need to be cleared by an independent doctor before he can even resume practice, much less be ready for Sunday's home game against Miami.

Considering the Bears' Jay Cutler sat out Sunday's game against Carolina because of a concussion sustained the week before against the Giants, there's a decent chance that Matt Flynn will get the start and Rodgers' 37-game starts streak will come to an end.

"We'll take the proper time to make sure he's fully recovered," McCarthy said. "It's definitely possible (he'll be out on Sunday). At a minimum, he'll miss some practice.

The news wasn't any better among the other injured players.

Star tight end Jermichael Finley will have knee surgery on Tuesday morning. McCarthy said he wasn't sure of the exact nature of the injury but said he would be "surprised" if it's season-ending, though that won't be determined until after the surgery has been completed.

According to Greg Bedard of the Journal Sentinel, the surgery will repair a torn meniscus in his right knee and will keep him out for three to six weeks.

NFL sacks leader Clay Matthews' hamstring strain isn't as severe as the one he suffered on Family Night, which kept him out for the entire preseason. Starting defensive end Ryan Pickett has a sprained ankle. McCarthy wasn't sure if either player would be ready for Sunday.

Among reserves, tight end Donald Lee will be out a couple of weeks with a chest sprain and safety/special-teams ace Derrick Martin will be out for "more than" a couple of weeks with a "pretty significant" knee sprain.

Meanwhile, inside linebacker Nick Barnett, who injured his wrist against Detroit and sat out Sunday's game, will have surgery on Wednesday. McCarthy hasn't ruled out Barnett returning late in the season. Plus, right tackle Mark Tauscher, who also was held out against Washington, is getting a second opinion on his shoulder sprain.

Now, the challenge is to scrape together what's left of what was considered a Super Bowl contender and somehow find a winning formula.

"I think the most important thing we need to do is be on top of projection with medical staff. Frankly, that's why we started this press conference so late. The medical meeting was a lot longer today. You really don't have a handle on it until probably mid-Tuesday. Once we get all the information today, we'll make some projections. It's important, particularly for your younger players, you want to give them the best opportunity to prepare to play the game. That's what everybody goes through that goes through injuries. Look at yesterday's game. It changes – it changes the way you call the offense. It really affects the special teams."

With the long-term prospects of some of these injuries, McCarthy has some difficult decisions to make in regards to who will stay on the 53-man roster in hopes that they can contribute down the stretch and who will be placed on injured reserve and replaced on the roster.

"Any time you deal with injuries, particularly this time of year, when you get up into the six- to eight-week mark, those are tough decisions to make," McCarthy said. "Every injury's different. The fact that individuals are having surgery, you should have a pretty clear-cut view of (his comeback schedule) exactly, based on the individual, the history of the individual, how the medical staff feels and so forth. I really can't speculate if we're going to hold on to one player as opposed to another."

Agree or disagree?: Discuss hot Packers topics in our, free forums. Leave Bill a question in the subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum.

Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at and Facebook under Bill Huber.

Packer Report Top Stories