The Green Bay Packers had been a postseason staple for eight consecutive years. A playoff appearance in 2017 would have tied the all-time record of nine straight invitations – held by the Dallas Cowboys (1975-83), Indianapolis Colts (2002-10) and as of Sunday, the New England Patriots (2009-17). Off to a 4-1 start this season, the team was just beginning to hit its stride when starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone in the first quarter at Minnesota. He would miss seven games but returned last weekend to face the Carolina Panthers.

Things did not go according to plan, the Packers lost to drop their record to 7-7 and the star signal-caller took his lumps. On Tuesday, the organization placed him on IR for the second time this year.

Somber Sunday

In the first six weeks of the season, Rodgers led the Green Bay Packers to a 4-2 record as a starter. That second loss came in the game in which he broke his collarbone. In those games, he threw 13 touchdown passes and only three interceptions. On Sunday at Carolina, the battered quarterback showed flashes of his healthier self but never quite got into rhythm. In the club’s 31-24 loss to the Panthers, he served up just as many scores as picks (3). On Monday, head coach Mike McCarthy stated that “Aaron Rodgers is sore.

He was hit too many times. We'll see what tomorrow brings.” And tomorrow would turn into today and the decision to put the 13-year pro on Injured Reserve.

The final two weeks

Ironically, quarterback Brett Hundley will get the nod this Saturday night at Lambeau Field against the visiting Minnesota Vikings. You will recall that the third-year signal-caller replaced an injured Rodgers in the first quarter back in Week 6 in the Green Bay Packers’ 23-10 loss to the Purple Gang.

In that contest, the young passer connected on just 18-of-33 throws for 157 yards. While Hundley found wide receiver Davante Adams for a 14-yard score early in the second quarter, he was also picked off three times by the Vikings. The former UCLA product was sacked four times and fumbled on one occasion. It was a humbling outing to say the least.

With the Packers out of the playoff picture, this will be a good opportunity to see even more of the young quarterback. With Rodgers now on IR, the team has also re-signed Joe Callahan. It’s going to be odd not to see the Packers in the playoffs in January, and you can bet that this franchise doesn’t intend to make this a habit anytime soon. Following their tilt with the Purple Gang, Green Bay closes the season at Ford Field against the Detroit Lions.