GREEN BAY, Wis. —Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was placed on injured reserve Tuesday, assuring he won’t face the Vikings on Saturday night at Lambeau Field.
Rodgers missed seven games after suffering a broken collarbone in an Oct. 15 game at Minnesota on a hit by linebacker Anthony Barr. He returned Sunday and played in Green Bay’s 31-24 loss at Carolina, but the Packers decided to shut him down for the season after they were eliminated from the playoff race Monday night.
“He’s not happy about it,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy told reporters. “It’s a hard day for him. This is not the way any player wants to see the conclusion come for their season. We all understand and appreciate and respect his competitive spirit, but we felt as an organization this was in his best interest.”
Brett Hundley, who went 3-4 as the starter when Rodgers was out, will quarterback the Packers against the Vikings.
McCarthy said there were a “number of different factors” involved in the decision to put Rodgers on injured reserve, including the hits he took against the Panthers.
“It frankly was what we thought was best for him,” McCarthy said. “He was sore, took a number of hits in Sunday’s game, so we felt this was the best decision.”
McCarthy said Monday that Rodgers was sore, but the coach put off a decision on his status until Tuesday. On Monday night, the Packers (7-7) were eliminated from the playoff race when Atlanta (9-5) won 24-21 at Tampa Bay.
To take Rodgers’ spot on the roster, the Packers re-signed Joe Callahan, who was waived Saturday when Rodgers was activated off injured reserve. Callahan will serve as Hundley’s backup against the Vikings.
Rodgers was hurt in the first quarter Oct. 15 when he was slammed to the U.S. Bank Stadium turf by Barr after releasing a pass. The Vikings linebacker was not penalized or fined for the hit, but McCarthy called it an “illegal act.”
Barr was not available for comment Tuesday. He spoke to the Pioneer Press on Friday about hate messages he has received from apparent Packers fans since the hit.
“I don’t feel it’s going to stop,” Barr said.
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer had said Monday it “doesn’t matter” who starts at quarterback this week for Green Bay. He said Hundley, who replaced Rodgers in Minnesota’s 23-10 victory two months ago, has run the offense with a similar philosophy after taking over at quarterback.
“Yes, a little bit,” Zimmer said. “I mean, they’re still doing a lot of the same things. … Some of the stuff is still the same, and then there is some other things.”
Rodgers started each of Green Bay’s past seven games against Minnesota. He last sat out against the Vikings when he was recovering from a broken collarbone and the teams tied 26-26 on Nov. 24, 2013, at Lambeau Field.
McCarthy considered it important to make the announcement Tuesday on the decision to start Hundley.
“I’m not going to sit here and fake who your quarterback is going to be,” he said. “I’m going to support Brett Hundley to get all the reps. Our game plan reflects how we want to play this game in all three phases, and I expect to win the game.”VIKINGS INJURIES
The Vikings did not practice Tuesday but did release the weekly required injury report.
Listed as non-participants for the Vikings were tackle Riley Reiff (ankle), safety Andrew Sendejo (ankle), cornerback Tramaine Brock (foot) and wide receiver Jarius Wright (foot). Reiff missed Sunday’s 34-7 victory over Cincinnati, and the other three were injured in the game.
Listed as limited were tight end Kyle Rudolph (ankle), center Pat Elflein (shoulder), tackle Mike Remmers (lower back), linebacker Ben Gedeon (ankle) and cornerback Mackensie Alexander (rib).