Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone in the first quarter of Green Bay’s 23-10 loss to Minnesota on Sunday, as he was driven into the ground by Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr.
While much of the focus has been on Rodgers, who could miss the rest of the season, what about Barr? Was his hit dirty?
“I don’t think it was specifically dirty by Anthony Barr. I don’t think he went out of his way to try to break Aaron’s collarbone or try to hurt him. I think it was just kind of unnecessary,” former Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk said on CBS Sports Radio’s Reiter Than You. “He kind of speared him into the ground. I don’t blame him for hitting him. I think he should have hit the quarterback there, there’s no question. But the whole driving the quarterback into the ground and landing on him, that’s what they’ve been trying to get away from for a long, long time.”
Hawk, who played for the Packers from 2006-14, was surprised Barr wasn’t flagged for roughing the passer.
“Technically, I guess they were right by not throwing it,” Hawk said, “but Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Tom Brady – they usually get those calls, so it was kind of surprising.”
Either way, the Packers (4-2) must regroup in a hurry. They are still tied with Minnesota (4-2) for first place in the NFC North, but do they still have a chance without Rodgers? Is their season, for all intents and purposes, over?
Hawk says no.
“There’s definitely still hope,” he said. “There really is. It’s hard to say that and feel that right now just because of how unbelievable Aaron is, but I think if you look around the team, the defense has been playing well. It really has. There’s still hope. It’s tough to feel like there is when you lose Aaron, but we don’t know what (Brett) Hundley is. I think over these next couple weeks we’ll get to see what kind of player Hundley really is and know if they really have a chance of getting to the playoffs and making a run.”
Hundley threw three interceptions in Sunday’s loss, leaving many to speculate whether the Packers would try to sign Colin Kaepernick or Tony Romo. Hawk doesn’t believe they’ll sign either.
“If it’s Colin from 2012, I think they would. He would definitely already be on the team by now,” Hawk said. “But he just wasn’t playing at that high of a level still. The Tony Romo one, that’s intriguing. I remember thinking that once I saw Aaron go down. But that doesn’t really seem to be in Ted Thompson’s game plan, to go do stuff like that and go pull Tony out of the booth. I don’t know if Tony would even be willing. I’m guessing he would listen to the offers for sure being a Wisconsin guy and being able to take the helm of the Packers and there’s a good team around him.
“But honestly, I don’t see them making any big moves,” Hawk continued. “It’s possible, I guess, they could go pick up another quarterback to be behind Hundley because they may not feel like (Joe) Callahan, (who was) the third stringer, (is a quality backup). Maybe they’re not super confident in him. But I honestly don’t see them going out there and signing anybody.”
The Packers host the Saints (3-2) this Sunday before a Week 8 bye. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. ET.