Mike McCarthy waited as long as possible to rule out Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, keeping hope alive that the quarterback could play until late Friday afternoon. Turns out it might not have been that tough a decision.
Chris Mortensen of ESPN reported Sunday morning that Rodgers "wasn't as close to coming back as it appeared."
A source told Mortensen that Rodgers fractured collarbone showed "extraordinary risk" if he attempted to get back on the field and play for Green Bay Sunday.
Much attention was paid to McCarthy's repeated insistence that holding Rodgers out was "an organizational decision," refusing to put the onus on a single individual for making the decision.
Mortensen reports that McCarthy "used that term at the insistence of Rodgers, who wanted an emphasis placed on his toughness." Additionally at play was -- Mort reports -- Rodgers' sensitivity that his injury absence would be compared to Brett Favre's reputation for toughness."
Ouch. That should sit well with Rodgers, who's come pretty close to calling out media members by name during the weeks that he's been hurt when he didn't agree with reports that were floating out there about the state of his injury.
And it also conflicts with the generally accepted notion that it was Ted Thompson who made the ultimate call on Rodgers, even though the quarterback really wanted to play.
One would have to assume that Rodgers not really being close for Week 16 doesn't bode well for his chances to play in Week 17.