NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Sunday on NFL Network's "NFL GameDay First" that, while the Green Bay Packers quarterback has targeted Dec. 8 for his return from a fractured collarbone, Rodgers would "be lucky" to return in time for the team's bout with the Falcons, per a source with direct knowledge of the injury.
That's not all. If the Packers fall to Atlanta -- with Matt Flynn likely to start -- and Green Bay tumbles out of the playoff picture, Rapoport was told the team might shut down Rodgers for the rest of the season to avoid further injury to the passer's collarbone.
The picture couldn't be more grim for the Packers, who were abysmal on offense in Thursday's 40-10 loss to the Detroit Lions. It wasn't just Flynn, but a crumbling offensive line and a lack of big plays that led to one of Green Bay's uglier defeats during the Mike McCarthy era.
The Packers are going nowhere fast without the world's finest signal-caller on the field. If Rodgers can't make it back, lofty playoff aspirations in Green Bay will quickly give way to plans for 2014.