GREEN BAY, Wis. — The plan for Aaron Rodgers‘ recovery — and possible chance to return this season — was being finalized Friday, one day after the Packers quarterback underwent surgery to repair his broken right collarbone.
The Packers placed Rodgers on injured reserve but could bring him back after eight weeks. They are holding out hope that Rodgers could return for the Dec. 17 game at Carolina, according to a source. That’s the soonest he would be eligible to come off IR.
“We’re actually discussing all the long-term options at this point,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “The focus has been on Aaron’s health, making sure everything went well with the surgery, and those discussions will continue.”
McCarthy said Rodgers will not attend Sunday’s game at Lambeau Field because he is recovering out of town. Team physician Dr. Pat McKenzie did not perform the surgery to repair Rodgers’ broken clavicle, but McCarthy said McKenzie reported to him that the surgery went well.
“Everything went very well is my understanding [from] talking with Dr. McKenzie, and he’s recovering,” McCarthy said.
The last time Rodgers broke his collarbone — his left (non-throwing) clavicle in 2013 — he remained on the roster and returned after seven weeks. He did not undergo surgery after that injury, which occurred in Week 9. He returned for the regular-season finale, a game the Packers won at Chicago to capture the NFC North and a playoff spot.
At 4-2 after Sunday’s loss at Minnesota — where Rodgers was injured when linebacker Anthony Barr hit him and fell on him after a pass outside the pocket — the Packers are tied with the Vikings for first place in the NFC North. Brett Hundley will make his first NFL start in place of Rodgers on Sunday against New Orleans.
The Packers might have both of their starting tackles on the field to protect Hundley. Right tackle Bryan Bulaga cleared the concussion protocol Friday, and left tackle David Bakhtiari has been able to practice, albeit on a limited basis, despite a recurring hamstring injury.