Time will tell if Aaron Rodgers will make his fifth consecutive start when the Green Bay Packers host the Arizona Cardinals next week.
Rodgers injured his right (throwing) shoulder during the third quarter of Sunday's disappointing 30-21 loss at Tampa Bay on Sunday. Rodgers, who sustained the injury while lunging in vain for a first down on a third-down scramble, said he might have a separated or dislocated shoulder. He'll undergo testing in Green Bay on Monday to determine the nature and severity of the injury.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy said he had "no idea" whether Rodgers would be available to face the Falcons.
"If there's a way I can go," Rodgers said, "I'll go."
The Packers punted after Rodgers came up short on the scramble, but Nick Collins gave the offense the ball with an interception. With the Packers trailing 20-7, Rodgers was back on the field and threaded the needle down the middle to Greg Jennings for a 48-yard touchdown pass. Rather than celebrate, though, Rodgers trotted off the field with his right arm draped at his side.
"I'm not sure if I dislocated it, but it hurt pretty bad," Rodgers said. "I was getting diagnosed on the sidelines and we got the interception, so I ran back out there. When I threw the touchdown pass, it was pretty intense pain."
"I tried to throw on the sidelines and couldn't do it," Rodgers said. "The doctors sat me down."
The Packers punted, and the Buccaneers scored the go-ahead field goal with 2 minutes, 26 seconds remaining. Rodgers came back into the game but was drilled as he threw his third interception. The Buccaneers capitalized to go ahead 30-21, and Flynn replaced Rodgers to end the game.
"When they scored the field goal, as bad as it hurt, I just wanted to give it one more go."
Rodgers, who entered the game as one of just three full-time starters in the NFL to enter Week 4 without an interception, extended the streak to 13 quarters and 108 attempts with a strong first quarter. But on the first play of the second quarter, Brandon Jackson deflected an easy dump-off pass in the flat for an interception, which Tampa Bay turned into the tying touchdown.
It was downhill from there for Rodgers and the offense.
After a three-and-out punt, Rodgers misfired on a deep in to an open Donald Driver for another interception, which the Bucs turned into a field goal and a 13-7 lead. With the game-killing interception in the fourth quarter, Rodgers finished 14-of-27 for 165 yards with two touchdowns, three interceptions and a rating of just 55.9 points. He was sacked three times and officially was hit six times.
Rodgers and Flynn led the offense to one second-half first down, which came on Rodgers' touchdown to Jennings. Green Bay ran just 19 plays on seven second-half possessions, and the longest drive in terms of plays was their last one, when they went for it with Flynn on fourth down. Take away the touchdown to Jennings, and the Packers gained 18 yards in the final two quarters.
"You're not going to win in this league when you turn the ball over four times like that," Rodgers said. "It's disappointing. We have to be very critical of ourselves. We are 2-2 and have a tough stretch coming up. We have three games before the bye week, and we need to get back to playing the kind of football we feel we are capable of playing."