Aaron Rodgers may sit vs. Dolphins

Updated: October 12, 2010, 10:56 AM ET
Associated Press

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has a concussion and might have to sit out Sunday's game against Miami, the latest blow in a wave of injuries that has hit the Green Bay Packers in a season they hoped would end in the Super Bowl.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Rodgers got the concussion during a helmet-to-helmet hit late in Sunday's overtime loss at Washington and he could miss the Dolphins game.

"It's definitely possible," McCarthy said Monday. "I know at a minimum he'll miss some practice time."

The backup quarterback is Matt Flynn, a third-year player out of LSU who has thrown 17 passes in his career. Flynn said he's ready to play if needed, but hopes Rodgers is healthy.

"I saw him this morning," Flynn said. "He looked fine. We sat down, talked, just waited around and everything was kind of normal."

The Packers likely will need much of the week to evaluate Rodgers, who hasn't missed a game since taking over as the starter in 2008.

Under stricter return-to-play guidelines for head injuries the NFL adopted late last year, Rodgers must be free of concussion symptoms, even after rigorous exercise, and cleared by the team doctor and an approved independent neurologist before he plays again.

Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler did not play in a win at Carolina on Sunday after sustaining a concussion a week ago.

"There's a protocol, and he'll go through it just like we've always done," McCarthy said. "And we'll definitely take the proper time and make sure he's fully recovered."

That's just the beginning of the bad news for the Packers.

Two players are scheduled for surgery this week: tight end Jermichael Finley on his knee and linebacker Nick Barnett on his wrist.

McCarthy said he "would be surprised" if Finley's surgery ended his season but was less definitive on Barnett, saying he was "holding out hope" that the linebacker would be back.

"When you're dealing with his particular injury, they really won't know until they get in there," McCarthy said.

Outside linebacker Clay Matthews has a left hamstring strain, defensive lineman Ryan Pickett has an ankle sprain, tight end Donald Lee has a chest sprain and safety Derrick Martin has a knee sprain.

Matthews' injury was not as severe as the one that caused him to miss most of training camp and the preseason, the coach said, though there isn't a clear timeline for his return. Lee and Martin might be out a few weeks.

Meanwhile, veteran right tackle Mark Tauscher has a shoulder injury and was inactive against Washington. McCarthy did have one piece of good injury news: linebacker Brandon Chillar, who has been out with a shoulder injury, will begin "trial" practice this week.

Green Bay has already lost starting running back Ryan Grant to a season-ending ankle injury, starting safety Morgan Burnett to a torn ACL and backup defensive lineman Justin Harrell to a knee injury. And cornerback Al Harris (knee) and safety Atari Bigby (ankle) might return to practice for the first time next week, although it's not clear whether either will be able to play right away.

Going into the Miami game, that's a lot of potential absences for a team that now has lost two of its last three games -- and didn't look particularly good in its win over Detroit.

Still, McCarthy said this week would be business as usual. And if Rodgers can't go?

Quarterbacks coach Tom Clements said Flynn does a good job running the scout team in practice and is capable of taking over the offense.

"During the regular season with the opponent squad, he's going against our defense," Clements said. "Now, obviously, playing in the regular season is different and things go a little faster. But we're confident that Matt will do a good job if needed."


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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