Nov 17, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Scott Tolzien (16) drops back to pass during the first quarter against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
The Vikings haven’t been catching too many breaks lately, but this week they have caught a big one with the news that Aaron Rodgers won’t be able to play Sunday when the Vikes visit Lambeau Field. Rodgers is still coming back from a broken collarbone, so his backup Scott Tolzien will have to start a third straight game. Mike McCarthy confirmed the news during his Monday presser.
Tolzien hasn’t been totally horrible for the Packers since coming in for Rodgers early in the Bears game three weeks, but nevertheless the Packers are 0-3 in Tolzien’s games, 0-2 with him as a starter, and have slipped to 5-5 overall, a game out of first in the division. Tolzien has held down his position well enough but he isn’t Aaron Rodgers. With all their other problems, the Packers need great quarterback play, not adequate quarterback play.
It’s interesting that Mike McCarthy would come out so early in the week and quash any talk of Rodgers trying to come back for this game. There had been discussion about Rodgers pushing it and returning early, given the significance of this game to the Packers’ playoff chances, but obviously McCarthy doesn’t want the distraction that comes with such talk, hence his decision to declare Tolzien the starter and virtually rule Rodgers out.
The only question now is who the Vikings will start at QB against Tolzien. After a three-turnover day in Seattle, Christian Ponder’s starting job is up in the air. Matt Cassel has been the backup the last couple weeks but there is a prevailing belief that Josh Freeman should get another shot, if only to confirm that he can’t be the guy.
Neither team is exactly feeling great about their QB situation at this moment. But at least the Packers can look forward to getting Aaron Rodgers back, probably for Thanksgiving against Detroit. The Vikings can only look forward to the season ending and a new quarterback being drafted.