Aaron Rodgers set for surgery, and Mike McCarthy rips ‘illegal’ hit that led to injury

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN – OCTOBER 15: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers rides a cart into the locker room after being injured during the first quarter of the game against the Minnesota Vikings on October 15, 2017 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)

Aaron Rodgers has decided to undergo surgery on his broken collarbone and will miss a “significant” amount of time, Packers coach Mike McCarthy announced on Monday. 

Although McCarthy doesn’t expect Rodgers to return anytime soon, the Packers coach wasn’t ready to rule him out for the entire season. 

“He’ll be out a minimum of a significant amount of time, and potentially the season could be over [for him],” McCarthy said, via the Packers’ official website. 

The Packers are going to wait until after Rodgers has surgery to try and determine a possible timeline for their starting quarterback to return. As of right now though, McCarthy said the team is more concerned with Rodgers’ health than any possible return date.

“We’re focused on getting the surgery set and then, from that, there will be more information,” McCarthy said. “The key is getting Aaron healthy, it’s not to develop a timeline. That’s not the focus.”

McCarthy said the surgery would be done at some point in the “near future,” but he also added that a specific date for the operation hasn’t been set. 

Rodgers was injured during the first quarter of Green Bay’s 23-10 loss to Minnesota on Sunday. The Packers quarterback was carted off the field after taking a vicious hit from Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr. Although Barr didn’t get flagged on the play, McCarthy made it clear that he thought the Vikings linebacker should’ve been penalized.  

“I didn’t like the hit,” McCarthy said. “[Aaron’s] out of the pocket. He’s clearly expecting to get hit, but to pin him to the ground like that, I feel that it was an illegal act … I didn’t like the hit. It was totally unnecessary in my opinion.” 

As soon as Rodgers went down, McCarthy said it was pretty clear that his quarterback had been seriously injured. 

“We all knew,” McCarthy said. “I knew he was injured. I think he knew right away.”

Rodgers’ injury marks the second time in four years that he’s suffered a broken collarbone. Back in 2013, Rodgers missed seven games after fracturing his left collarbone.

One of the big differences between then and now though, is that Rodgers didn’t undergo surgery in 2013. The other big difference is that Rodgers broke his right collarbone this time around, which could lead to a longer recovery period. 

With Rodgers out, the Packers will now move forward with Brett Hundley as their starting quarterback. McCarthy said he has all the confidence in the world in the two quarterbacks on his roster: Hundley and former D-III QB Joe Callahan. 

“Hundley will be set and ready to go,” McCarthy said. “I’ve got three years invested in Brett Hundley. I’ve got great confidence in Brett Hundley. I’ve got two years invested in Joe Callahan. It’s a quarterback room that has structure and there’s a philosophy behind the development of it and it will be applied to the game plan. I feel great about the room, that’s not a concern of mine.”

During the press conference, McCarthy was asked directly if he might bring in Colin Kaepernick for a tryout and he shot the idea down almost before the reporter could finish his question. 

“Did you just listen to the question I just answered? I’ve got three years invested in Brett Hundley. I’ve got two years invested in Joe Callahan,” McCarthy said. “The quarterback room is exactly where it needs to be. We’re fortunate to have a great quarterback in Aaron Rodgers. We’re committed to the path that we’re on. Brett Hundley will be starting this week and Joe Callahan will be the backup.”

As for the mood in the locker room, the Packers coach said his team is ready to move forward with Hundley. 

“We’re fired up to go get them Saints,” McCarthy said. “We’re looking forward to playing again after what happened [against the Vikings].”

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