Rodgers has been nursing a sore shoulder since Sunday when he tried to extend himself at the end of a run and stretch for a first down. He came up short and ended up hurting. If he hasn't learned his lesson by now, that should be the last strong reminder in his fledgling pro career that sometimes it's better to cut your losses and live for another day rather than trying to be Superman on every play. Take that baseball slide with no one in the vicinity. It's OK for quarterbacks to do that in the NFL.
Now the Packers are playing the wait-n-see game with Rodgers and the rest of the football world. Maybe they have their mind made up on his status for Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons. Maybe they truly want to wait until just before the game to see if he miraculously recovers from his sprained shoulder. We'll see.
In the meantime, the Packers probably are better off sitting Rodgers, whether he thinks he is suddenly recovered or not. Here are a few reasons why:
1. It's Week 5 of a 17-week season. There is plenty of football remaining and all kinds of crazy things can happen between now and the end of December, so the Packers will need Rodgers over the bulk of the remaining games.
2. Every win is a must-win, but realistically the Packers only fall a game behind the Chicago Bears, providing the Bears (2-2) win Sunday at Detroit and the Packers lose to the Falcons. Sure, the Bears play at Detroit and are favored to win, but maybe the Lions will suddenly come to life.
3. Give Matt Flynn chance. Flynn was hardly impressive in his debut last week against Tampa, but he was thrown into the fire and came in cold off the bench. With a week of preparation, maybe he can do well enough to steer the Packers past the Falcons. The odds are against him, but he has succeeded when given the opportunity at LSU and there's no reason to think that he can't do the same in Green Bay.
4. Until Rodgers learns to take himself out of harms way during games, Flynn may have to step in again for him. So give Flynn more game experience against the Falcons.
5. What if Rodgers plays and is slammed to the turf on his right shoulder? Could happen on the first series of the game the way the offense has been playing lately. Then what? Then he's lost for a much longer period of time and possibly the season.
Even though Rodgers is "optimistic" about playing Sunday, the Packers shouldn't buy into it. Mike McCarthy and Ted Thompson are smart enough to realize that Rodgers will be much more effective with a more healthy shoulder than trying to play through the pain each week.
The Packers should sit Rodgers and hope for the best with Flynn. If there was ever a time where others on the team will have to make more plays than the quarterback, Sunday will be it for the Packers.
Todd Korth writes for PackerReport.com and Packer Report magazine. E-mail him at email@example.com.