The Packers’ hopes of returning to the NFC title game took a huge hit when All-Pro quarterback Aaron Rodgers suffered a broken collarbone in Week 7, and the team was never really able to rebound from losing its superstar for roughly half the season.
Rodgers, to his credit, returned for Week 15’s game against the Panthers, which is pretty remarkable, given the nature of his injury. He did, however, throw three interceptions in the game. Rodgers is known to be his biggest critic, and he’s apparently still a bit upset over his performance in the 31-24 loss, according to Packers quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt.
“You hear him say he’s going to miss some and make more than he does, and unfortunately those two that he underthrew could’ve been potentially big plays,” Van Pelt said, via Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “Just the rust. Not doing it every day for a stretch of time. We knew that was going to be the case with some throws; unfortunately, it was those two that were intercepted there.”
The Packers QB coach then revealed that Rodgers has been feeling “bummed out,” and believes that his performance in the Week 15 matchup is the reason why.
“I think that’s why he’s bummed out,” Van Pelt said. “I think he feels like he let the team down, which is not the case. I told him that, that we’re better obviously when he’s playing, so that’s the unfortunate part of it for him not to be able to come back and play a game after that. But knowing him, it’s going to drive him through the offseason.”
Rodgers was sore after his first game back (which was to be expected), and as a result, the Packers decided to put him back on injured reserve. It made sense to roll with Brett Hundley and rest their star quarterback for the last two games of the season with the team having been eliminated from playoff contention.
As for next season, it appears that Rodgers already has a chip on his shoulder, and will be motivated to return to peak form in 2018.