Through their first six games of the season, the Detroit Lions sit at 3-3. If you would have told most fans that before the season began, they would have taken it in a heartbeat. But that was then and this is now.
After getting off to a 3-1 start (should have been 4-0), the Lions dropped their next two games to the Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints and they now sit in third place in the NFC North behind the Green Bay Packers (4-2) and the Minnesota Vikings (4-2). To compound that, it seems like half of the Lions roster is banged up, including quarterback Matthew Stafford.
But the Lions (and their fans) thought they had caught a break last Sunday when news broke that Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers had broken his collarbone and could miss the rest of the 2017 season. Now, to be clear, in no way are we ever rooting for a player to have a severe injury, but it certainly would be a break for the Lions and the rest of the NFC North if the Packers were forced to roll with Brett Hundley as their quarterback for the remainder of the season.
But now, according to a report from Zach Kruse of Packers Wire, Rodgers could be on schedule to return just in time to play the Lions in Week 17 at Ford Field. Packers Wire spoke with orthopedic surgeon Dr. Dustin Schuett, who gave some insight on what the timetable could look like for Rodgers return to action.
For the average person, regular activities and strengthening are resumed three months after surgery. For high-level athletes, most team doctors will push the timeframe up by a month allowing full motion and strengthening at eight weeks after surgery. A quarterback with Rodgers’ level of conditioning and arm strength could be ready to return as early as two weeks after that, at 10 weeks out from injury.
A return at just over nine weeks out from surgery could get Rodgers back in time for the Christmas Eve rematch with the Vikings at Lambeau Field. This would likely be the best case scenario and also the most aggressive course. A more likely scenario would be Rodgers returning for the season finale in Detroit on New Years Day (10 weeks and 2 days after his surgery), but only if the Packers are able to remain in the playoff race without Rodgers.
Not to bring back bad memories, but it was just one season ago that the Lions went into their Week 17 home matchup with the Packers in a winner take all battle for the NFC North crown. In that game, Rodgers was brilliant, as he completed 27 of 39 passes for 300 yards and four touchdowns as the Packers defeated the Lions 31-24 to win the clinch the division.