McCarthy Won't Take Chances With Rodgers

Even with the season possibly hanging by a thread with Sunday's game at New England, Aaron Rodgers won't be rushed back into action after suffering a concussion against Detroit. "We'll always take the high side of caution in these types of situations," McCarthy said.

How soon the Green Bay Packers regain the services of star quarterback Aaron Rodgers after his latest head injury is a mystery.

Coach Mike McCarthy said Monday he probably won't have any "concrete information" on Rodgers' condition until Thursday.

"We're not going to take any chances," McCarthy said.

After Rodgers had a chance to sleep in on Monday morning, Green Bay's medical staff started the first phase of the league-mandated, postconcussion testing on him.

Rodgers suffered his second concussion of the season with less than 3 minutes left in the first half of the Packers' 7-3 upset loss at the Detroit Lions on Sunday. Rodgers was tackled by two players at the end of his 18-yard scramble, and a back-side hit by Lions linebacker Landon Johnson caused the front of Rodgers' helmet to hit the artificial turf at Ford Field.

McCarthy wasn't happy that Rodgers decided to run for extra yards instead of sliding after he had gained enough for a first down. And he wasn't happy that backup Matt Flynn did the same thing when he was in the game.

"Obviously, you want competitive players," offensive coordinator Joe Philbin said. "The guys are out there, they want to make a play, want to provide a spark for the offense. Obviously, we were looking for a spark at that particular point in the game. But once you get the first down, you've got to be cognizant of where you are, what the pursuit is. And again, people don't have eyes in the back of their head. But use your discretion, understand the significance of what one play can do to the team."

Rodgers stayed in the game for three more plays before being relieved by Flynn for the Packers' final series in the first half.

McCarthy said after the game that Rodgers was groggy and afflicted with a headache when the team doctors shut him down the rest of the way.

"When it became a question, an issue (of) was he clear, wasn't he clear, we pulled him immediately," McCarthy said on Monday. "We'll always take the high side of caution in these types of situations."

Rodgers suffered a concussion in the Oct. 10 overtime loss at the Washington Redskins, a game that he finished. Rodgers was cleared to play the following week.

With his status up in the air until at least later this week, the Packers will look to prepare third-year backup Flynn for possibly his first NFL start Sunday night, when they play at the New England Patriots.

Flynn went 15-of-26 for 177 yards in his most extensive action as a pro. He directed Green Bay's only scoring drive of the game but also had an interception in the end zone and overthrew Greg Jennings on a potential game-winning touchdown on fourth-and-1 in the final minute.

"He could have thrown the ball a little bit better," McCarthy said. "He missed some throws is probably the biggest criticism you want to have on Matt. But, as far as the management, he was productive as far as moving the offense."

Philbin also liked what he saw and expects Sunday's experience would be helpful if Flynn has to start at New England.

"I think experience is the greatest teacher of all," Philbin said. "We can put these guys in situations, put them on the chalkboard and put them in the gym, put them in the walkthrough, practice out there. But until you get out there and you get a chance to do it, live bullets, so to speak, it's hard to project exactly how a guy's going to respond. And I think by and large, he did a good job."

Flynn is the only other quarterback on Green Bay's roster. Graham Harrell is on the practice squad and likely would be elevated if the outlook for Rodgers' playing this weekend isn't good.

Receiver Jordy Nelson said after Sunday's game that he would have been the emergency quarterback had Flynn also been knocked out.


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook under Bill Huber.


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