Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers confirmed this week that he’s been playing half of the season with a broken thumb.

Rodgers said surgery isn’t needed and isn’t an option after the season.

To his credit, Rodgers isn’t leaning on the thumb injury as an excuse.

The reality, though, is that Rodgers hasn’t been the same quarterback since injuring his thumb in the Packers’ week five loss to the New York Giants.

Green Bay is 1-5 since Rodgers’ injury. The worst of those losses was the 27-10 loss against the New York Jets, which came the week after Rodgers’ injury.

There’s been a clear decline in Rodgers’ play since the injury, which has undoubtedly contributed to the Packers’ 1-5 record during that stretch.

Again, I’ll give Rodgers credit for not leaning on the broken thumb as an excuse for Green Bay’s struggles this season.

But it’s clearly the reason why the Packers are 4-7 and unlikely to make the playoffs. Green Bay was 3-1 before the injury. They lost the game where he was injured and they’re 1-5 in the six games since the injury. The evidence shows that the injury is the reason for the Packers’ struggles.

That should be the narrative of this season. Not that Rodgers is washed, not that the wide receivers are terrible (though that situation could be better), and not that Rodgers and Matt LaFleur don’t get along. The real story is that Green Bay’s MVP quarterback isn’t healthy.

It’s unfortunate that this is essentially a “throwaway season” for the Packers. They don’t have many years with Rodgers left. But they’re going to have to do their best to finish this season strong, continue to develop the chemistry between Rodgers and the young wide receivers, and just move on to 2023.

Green Bay is going to be fine. They just ran into some bad luck this season. It’s pro sports. It happens.

Featured image via Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

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