Despite many reports saying Aaron Rodgers would miss the remainder of the 2017 season with a broken clavicle, the Green Bay Packers quarterback returned from the IR to play against the Carolina Panthers in Week 15. But after the Packers were eliminated from playoff contention, it was announced that Rodgers was being shut down and placed back on IR.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, that move has caused other teams to complain to the NFL, saying the Packers should have to release Rodgers once he comes off the IR.
NFL rules stipulate that a player needs to have suffered a new injury that would sideline him at least six weeks to be placed on injured reserve. If that is not the case, the team is obligated to release the player once he is healthy.
Rodgers was activated off injured reserve and played last Sunday against the Carolina Panthers but came out of the game because he was “sore,” according to Packers coach Mike McCarthy.
But Green Bay did not announce its decision to place Rodgers back on injured reserve until Tuesday, after the Packers had been eliminated from a potential postseason spot.
Schefter added that NFL rules say the Packers should indeed have to release Rodgers if he did not suffer a new injury, which he did not.
If Rodgers didn’t suffer a new injury but was placed back on injured reserve anyway, NFL rules stipulate that the Packers would have to release him — which nobody expects will happen. It is why multiple teams raised the issue. Teams wanted to know why the Packers were being granted immunity.
The NFL referred all inquiries about the situation to the Packers, who have declined comment. But one source said Rodgers wasn’t going to be medically cleared to play in Green Bay’s next game, and the Packers knew he wasn’t 100 percent.
On October 15th, Rodgers broke his clavicle when he was hit by Anthony Barr of the Minnesota Vikings. Most reports said it was likely Rodgers would need surgery and would likely miss the remainder of the 2017 regular season. The Packers quarterback did undergo surgery on October 19th but was able to recover enough to play against the Panthers in Week 15.
It seems unlikely that Rodgers will be released by the Packers but it sure seems that if the NFL is going to enforce their own rule, he should be.