The Packers’ Case For Benching Aaron Rodgers

Green Bay is officially in freefall. A loss the the 1-6 Detriot Lions – their fifth straight defeat – has likely all but ended any hope of a turnaround this season. The most infuriating part of it all was the performance of the offense, led by Aaron Rodgers. Less than a week after firing their defensive backs coach, the Lions intercepted Rodgers three times, all within the redzone. A team that was surrendering a league-worst 32.1 points per game held the Packers to just nine points. And with injuries continuing to pile up, it might just be time for Green Bay to sit Rodgers down.

Rodgers himself has been playing at less than 100% for the last month. After injuring his thumb on the hail mary attempt in the loss to the Giants, Rodgers has barely seen the practice field. And it has clearly bothered him during the games as well – often grimacing and grabbing at the thumb after throws.

And his splits since the injury have been evident. He has underthrown receivers on a weekly basis, and has also failed to let it rip to receivers streaking open downfield. Whether this is due to a lack of trust in his patchwork offensive line, or lack of confidence in his hand to make the throws, it’s been ugly either way.

What’s worse is that Rodgers himself has admitted that the injury is not improving. With a player that is clearly not right, and no aspirations of a Super Bowl run, the Packers should just shut Rodgers down. They can use the opporunity to get Jordan Love valuable game reps. And as opposed to the Kansas City game he was thrust into after Rodgers tested positive for Covid a season ago, he can have the chance to prepare as the starter.

The Packers will have to decide whether or not to exercise Love’s fifth year option by May 1st of next year. Despite Rodgers inking a 3 year extension this past offseason, he’s clearly stated that he will evaluate his future one year at a time. This season offers the Packers a chance to find out if Love can be the future of the franchise. If that’s not the case, they will be in position to take another chance at the quarterback position.

As it currently stands, the Packers would hold the eighth overall selection in the 2023 draft. They could have a real shot to land one of the top QB prospects should they decide to move on from Love. Green Bay has forced itself into a precarious situation by going all-in on an aging quarterback, but banking on him to elevate the talent around him. It’s backfired for them in 2022, but they have a chance to set themselves up for a quick rebuild in the post Rodgers era.

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Jared is a rogue Packers fan from a Steelers family and an overall football junkie, including playing 4 years at Ithaca College. You can follow him on twitter at @JPrugar.

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