New Orleans 26, Packers 17: 2-minute drill

GREEN BAY — For the first time since 2013, the Green Bay Packers experienced life without Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, and it’s just as rough as everyone remembered. With the future Hall of Fame signal caller recovering from collarbone surgery, Brett Hundley made his first career start, running for one touchdown but largely struggling in a 26-17 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday at Lambeau Field.

Play of the Game

With the Saints leading 19-17 midway through the fourth quarter, Trevor Davis, instead taking the ball at the 25-yard line on a touchback, returned a kickoff from five yards deep in the end zone. He brought it all the way back to the 40-yard line, but only got there because one of his guys held on the return. After the penalty, the Packers started at their own 10. Three plays later, Green Bay was punting, and by the time the Packers got the ball back, they were down two scores.

Game Balls

Offense: Aaron Jones

The rookie was fantastic, running for a career-high 131 yards, including 64 yards on the opening drive that he finished off with a 46-yard touchdown run up the middle. It’s clear Jones is the most explosive of Green Bay’s running backs and has the confidence of the offensive line in front of him.

“He’s hungry. I enjoy seeing him run the ball,” left tackle David Bakhtiari said. “He’s got an extra gear [and] he can take the top off on a run, which is nice. I enjoy getting him touches. We’re going to keep doing our best anytime we call on thirty-three.”

Jones now has a pair of 100-yard games in his first three starts.

Defense: Blake Martinez

The Packers defense wasn’t great by any stretch, but Martinez was a busy man. He recorded a career-high 15 tackles, including 12 solo stops.

Special Teams: Justin Vogel

The Green Bay punter was put to work on Sunday, and he delivered by averaging 47.6 yards on his five kicks, with a net of 46.2. The dangerous Ted Ginn was held to just one return for seven yards.

In their own words

WR Randall Cobb when asked about trying to get on the same page as Hundley:

“It’s going to be important for us to continue to build confidence in him to throw it to us in different situations. There were opportunities today. Jordy (Nelson) and Davante (Adams) got on top [of guys] all day. There were a few inside as well with myself. We just have to continue to build that chemistry with Brett.”

Hundley when asked about trying to keep the team afloat while Rodgers is out:

“All I can say is don’t write us off. I think that’s the biggest thing. We’ve got to get better and we will get better. But we’re not out. Just because of this game and we’re 4-3 now. We still have everything in front of us. We’ve got our division games in front of us. We can still win the division, make the playoffs. Down the road, if Aaron is healthy and comes back and we’re still rolling, he’ll be available. But we’ve just got to win games and keep this season rolling.”

Coach Mike McCarthy on the struggles in the passing game that produced just 79 yards:

“It was a challenge I didn’t meet today. He didn’t get comfortable in the pocket and that’s my responsibility. Did a poor job coaching.

“Our passing game, we can sit here and pick it apart all you want. Let’s just blame it on the head coach today, OK?

In Case You Missed It

— ESPN’s Adam Shefter reported Sunday morning that the Packers feel Rodgers will be able to start throwing in six weeks, meaning a late-season return is possible. Because he’s on injured reserve, the earliest he could play is Week 15 at Carolina.

— One of Green Bay’s captains was guard Jahri Evans, who played his entire career with the Saints before this season.

— The Packers honored the 1967 NFL Championship team and many of the players were on hand. That included quarterback Bart Starr, who has overcome serious health issues in recent years.

— Former Wisconsin offensive lineman Ryan Ramczyk started at right tackle for the Saints. He was the team’s first-round pick in April’s NFL draft.

Inside the Numbers

— Jones’ 46-yard touchdown was the longest score on a running play for the Packers since 2015.

— Green Bay dropped to 2-6-1 in games that Rodgers has missed due to injury since he took over as the starter in 2008.

— Drew Brees threw for 331 yards on Sunday. He’s now thrown for at least 300 yards in each of the seven games he’s faced the Packers in his career.

What’s Next

Green Bay (4-3) has its bye next week. The Packers will return to action Monday, Nov. 6 against Detroit at Lambeau Field.

Packers’ QB Aaron Rodgers placed on injured reserve

The Green Bay Packers have placed quarterback Aaron Rodgers on injured reserve.

The team announced the move Friday afternoon, a day after Rodgers had surgery to repair a fractured right collarbone. It means the 2-time MVP will be out at least eight weeks, though he can return to practice in six. With that timeline, the best-case scenario would have Rodgers ready to play in Week 15 against Carolina, something the team is holding out hope for, according to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky.

The first time Rodgers broke his collarbone, back in 2013, it came on the left side. He missed seven games before returning for Week 17, leading the Packers to a NFC North-clinching victory over the Chicago Bears.

Rodgers took to social media after the surgery Thursday night, saying it went well and that his comeback would start immediately.

Without Rodgers in the lineup, the Packers will turn to third-year pro Brett Hundley, who will make his first career start on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints.

Here is the team’s final injury report for the week.

Aaron Rodgers undergoes surgery, sends message to fans

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is on the road to recovery.

That was the message the 2-time MVP sent from his hospital room bed after undergoing surgery to repair a broken right collarbone.

On his Instagram, Rodgers wrote, “Surgery went well. Thanks for all the love, support, thoughts and prayers. #comebackstartsnow #riseagain”

(picture via Instagram/@aaronrodgers12)

Rodgers was injured on the second series of Green Bay’s game against Minnesota last Sunday when linebacker Anthony Barr drove him into the ground after the quarterback released a pass.

It remains unclear if Rodgers will be able to return this season. In 2013, when Rodgers broke his left collarbone, he missed seven weeks before coming back for Week 17. The Packers were expected to wait until the surgery was complete before assessing their roster options and whether to place Rodgers on injured reserve or not.

With Rodgers out, third-year pro Brett Hundley will make his first career start on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints. After replacing Rodgers last week, Hundley threw one touchdown and three interceptions in what became a 23-10 loss.

Packers add a third quarterback

The Green Bay Packers have filled the open spot on their practice squad.

The team announced Tuesday afternoon the signing of quarterback Jerod Evans. He takes the opening created when Green Bay promoted Joe Callahan to the active roster.

Evans went undrafted out of Virginia Tech this past spring after foregoing his senior year. He signed with the Philadelphia Eagles but suffered a foot injury early in his time there and was cut after reaching an injury settlement with the team. He has been a free agent since then.

The 6-foot-3, 231-pound, Evans transferred to Virginia Tech from junior college and was named the starter heading into 2016. He completed 63.5 percent of his passes for 3,552 yards, 29 touchdowns and just eight interceptions for the Hokies.

Callahan was moved to the active roster to serve as the backup to Brett Hundley after starter Aaron Rodgers suffered a broken collarbone in Sunday’s loss at Minnesota.

Once again, the Packers will be forced to live life without Aaron Rodgers

MINNEAPOLIS — Whether he didn’t want to admit he knew or genuinely didn’t, Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb’s reaction when asked about Aaron Rodgers’ health was likely one that was playing out in the homes of fans all across the country. He almost went through all the various stages of grief from denial to anger to acceptance in the very quick back-and-forth with reporters.

Cobb: “He’s going to do everything he can. I don’t know what the injury is. I haven’t had chance to (check on that).”

Reporter: “It’s a broken collarbone.”

Cobb: “Is that confirmed?”

Reporter: “Yes.”

Cobb: “I don’t know. I’ll never trust sources.”

Reporter: “That was your team.”

Cobb: “Team issued? OK. Well, I don’t know. We’ll have to put the pieces together and see what we can do.”

Like everyone else, Cobb was being forced to think about life without one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game. When Minnesota linebacker Anthony Barr drove Rodgers into the ground on the second drive of Sunday’s game it altered not only what played out the rest of the way, but also what the rest of the season can be for a Packers team so dependent on the right arm of No. 12. The news that he broke his right collarbone on the hit and could miss the rest of the year is as debilitating of an injury as any NFL team can suffer.

“He’s the heartbeat of this team,” wide receiver Davonte Adams said. “It runs through him. He’s the best doing it in this game.”

We were treated to the greatness of Rodgers just seven days ago in Dallas, with the two-time NFL MVP leading a game-winning drive that showcased all of what makes him special and what made the Packers so dangerous. But standing inside the visitors locker room Sunday afternoon after a 23-10 loss to Minnesota, that vision of Rodgers screaming, “That’s what we do” over and over again couldn’t seem longer ago. Instead of being asked about how Rodgers makes the impossible happen, teammates were being tasked with figuring out how to move on without their leader.

“It’s devastating. No question about it,” Cobb said. “We still have to play football. We have a long season ahead of us to figure out what we are going to do.”

What they’re going to do is hand the keys of the offense to Brett Hundley. The ridiculous suggestions of coaxing former Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo out of the TV booth were put to rest as soon as coach Mike McCarthy took to the podium after the game.

“Brett Hundley and Joe Callahan are my quarterbacks,” McCarthy said when asked if they’d bring someone in from the outside. “That is what I am focused on. I am not here for any personnel comments or ideas. Brett Hundley and Joe Callahan — that is what we’re going with.”

Hundley, placed in a tough situation against a very good defense and behind a patchwork offensive line, was up and down after replacing Rodgers. He was 18 of 33 for 157 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions, though two of the turnovers came on tipped passes. He didn’t take a single snap with the first-team offense in preparing for the game, and the plan going in wasn’t necessarily suited to his skillset. Both of those will change before he’s under center next Sunday against New Orleans.

“I’ll be better, especially with a week to prepare,” Hundley said. “For the offense, I trust in the offense. I believe in them. I love them. And they know I’m going to give them my best and they’re going to do the same. We’ll be better with a week of preparation. We’ll for sure get some things done.”

But no matter how well prepared Hundley and the team are, we know this won’t be easy to navigate for Green Bay. We saw it play out in 2013 when Rodgers suffered a broken collarbone on his left side and missed seven games. The Packers managed to go just 2-5-1 in his absence, including the game he got hurt, with three different quarterbacks — Seneca Wallace, Scott Tolzien and Matt Flynn — getting a start.

While unproven, the team feels better about Hundley now then they did any of those three, but he won’t be playing with a full deck. It’s that uncertainty around him will surely hurt his chances to shine. The running game, outside of the Dallas win, has been non-existent this year. And by the time Sunday’s game was over the Packers were missing three starters along an offensive line that has been juggling bodies all year.

It’s not an ideal situation, but it’s the situation the team finds itself in — having to somehow replace the irreplaceable Rodgers.

“Losing Aaron Rodgers speaks for itself,” McCarthy said. “In my opinion, he is the best player in football, but this is a team game. This is the ultimate team game, and we need to be better with the 11 people on the field that we have regardless of the phase that we’re in. Ultimately that’s my reasonability.”

Packers lose Aaron Rodgers to injury

MINNEAPOLIS — For the first time since 2013, the Green Bay Packers will be forced to play an extended period of time without Aaron Rodgers.

The quarterback was knocked out of Sunday’s game against Minnesota in the first quarter after being driven into the ground by linebacker Anthony Barr, and the team announced that he suffered a broken collarbone. It’s possible he’ll miss the rest of the season.

It’s the second time Rodgers has broken his collarbone, the other time coming in 2013. That was to his left side and he ended up missing seven games before returning in Week 17 in a win over the Chicago Bears.

Green Bay also lost left guard Lane Taylor to a knee/ankle injury and cornerback Quinten Rollins to an ankle injury in the first half.

OLB Vince Biegel getting close to returning for the Packers

It’s been several weeks since Vince Biegel declared himself fully recovered from the offseason foot surgery that cost him his first NFL training camp with the Green Bay Packers and currently has him on the physically unable to perform list. But it wasn’t until Wednesday that the former Wisconsin outside linebacker admitted that being healthy enough to play and being confident enough to make an impact are two different things.

“I know I addressed the media earlier and I told them I was at 100 percent,” Biegel said with a horde of reporters surrounding him inside Green Bay’s locker room. “The foot and the bone was at a hundred percent, but confidence-wise I wasn’t there yet.”

The timing is pretty good for that confidence to show up. Biegel is eligible to start practicing next week. Once he does, the Packers will have three weeks to activate him, keep him on the PUP or outright release him.

“Where I’m at compared to six weeks [ago], I feel so much more confident,” Biegel said. “The pop is back, the strength is there, so I’m really excited to take that next step and to obviously go out there and help this team out.”

Green Bay took Biegel in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft, just months after he concluded a stellar career with the Badgers. But after taking part in one rookie minicamp practice, he was forced to undergo surgery on his left foot. The injury was to the same foot that kept him out of two games during his senior year at Wisconsin.

“I think everything happens for a reason,” Biegel said. “Am I frustrated? Absolutely. I’d love to be able to come out there and help the team right now. I feel that confident [I could do that], but you’ve got to be patient.”

Rodgers’ Comeback Beats Cowboys

The Green Bay Packers found themselves in a familiar position in Dallas Sunday afternoon. They were locked in a tight battle with the Cowboys, just as they were last January in an NFC divisional round playoff matchup.

Both times, the Packers are glad they have Aaron Rodgers directing the offense. In January, Rodgers set the team on a drive to set up Mason Crosby’s 51-yard field goal. On Sunday, he directed a nine-play, 75-yard drive capped off with a 12-touchdown pass to Davante Adams with 11 seconds remaining. This drive by Rodgers and the Packers came immediately after Dallas quarterback Das Prescott rushed for a touchdown from 11 yards out to give Dallas a 31-28 lead with 1:13 left to play.

That proved to be too much time for Rodgers and the Packers.

“I just don’t know what else to say about him.” Packers’ head coach Mike McCarthy said following the game. “I need to expand my vocabulary. Just a great job by Aaron.”

Green Bay improves to 4-1 with the win, they’re in first place in the NFC North. Dallas drops to 2-3 on the year.

News & Notes

Running back Ty Montgomery did not play after suffering a rib injury against Chicago in week four. Rookie Aaron Jones started in his place Sunday, he carried the ball 19 times for 125 yards and a touchdown.

Adams, who finished with seven grabs for 66 yards and two touchdowns was cleared from concussion protocol Saturday and was able to play. He suffered his concussion in week four against the Bears. Adams had to be taken off the field on a stretcher in what proved to be a scary sight.

Up Next

Green Bay returns to NFC North play next week traveling to Minnesota to take on the Vikings. Kick off is set for next Sunday at 12p.

Report: Packers WR Davante Adams could play this week against Dallas

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams took one of the most brutal shots to the head that you’ll ever see in a football game, but the fourth-year pro could very well be back on the field this Sunday when the team travels to Dallas to take on the Cowboys.

According to ESPN’s Adam Shefter, a source told him that he believes Adams will play this week.

Adams took a vicious hit to the head from Chicago Bears linebacker Danny Travathan in the third quarter of last Thursday’s game, left the field on a stretcher and spent the night in the hospital. He was placed in the NFL’s concussion protocol, but Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy told reporters Friday morning that Adams was rambunctious and ready to move forward.

This wouldn’t be the first time Adams has bounced back quickly from a big hit to the head. Last season, he was knocked out of a game against Dallas, but cleared the concussion protocol and played on a short week against the Bears. He ended up catching 13 passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns in that game.

As for Trevathan, he was suspended two games for his hit on Adams, but he plans to appeal.

Packers 35, Chicago 14: 2-minute drill

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Chicago quarterback Mike Glennon turned the ball over four times, while Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers threw four touchdowns in what turned into a 35-14 blowout win for the Packers on Thursday night at Lambeau Field.

Play of the Game

Green Bay led 7-0 after its first drive and the Bears were looking for an answer. They didn’t get it. Instead, outside linebacker Clay Matthews came off the edge on Chicago’s first snap and knocked the ball loose from Glennon. Linebacker Jake Ryan recovered at the Bears 3-yard line, and three plays later the Packers were in the end zone to claim a 14-0 lead.

Game Balls

Offense: Offensive line

A patchwork group that had Lane Taylor playing left tackle for the first time ever, an undrafted free agent in Lucas Patrick making his first career start at left guard and another undrafted free agent in Justin McCray getting the nod at right tackle, the Packers were able to get movement in the running game and kept Rodgers upright for most of the night, allowing just two sacks. It was a dire situation the line faced and they held up.

Defense: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

Clinton-Dix had one of the two interceptions that Glennon threw, and finished with eight solo tackles. On a wet field that could have proven disastrous for the defense, Clinton-Dix and company got the job done in forcing a total of four turnovers.

Special Teams: Justin Vogel

The rookie punter had a fantastic night in tough conditions. He punted five times, and finished with a net of 46.2 yards. He dropped one inside the 20 and never allowed the dangerous Tarik Cohen to burn them in the return game.

In their own words

Green Bay wide receiver Davante Adams took what many are calling a clear cheap shot to the head by linebacker Danny Trevathan in the third quarter. It sent Adams’ mouth guard flying, and he ended up being taken off the field on a gurney and to a local hospital.

While Adams was said to be doing fine and all early signs were positive, the fallout from the hit poured into the locker room, where Trevathan was engulfed by reporters. He reportedly told them that while he was sorry that Adams got hurt, it wasn’t intentional and he doesn’t believe he should be fined or suspended.

In the Green Bay locker room, most of the players wouldn’t comment on whether the hit was dirty or not, but the one guy that always speaks his mind — tight end Martellus Bennett — let everyone know his feelings on the matter.

“I thought it was f**ked up,” Bennett said. “No matter what team they’re on, you don’t want anyone to go through that situation. They have families and things like that.

“What we thought was f**ked up was he was celebrating that play. You’re getting your ass kicked, you take a cheap shot and then celebrate when a guy goes down. That’s what really pissed us off.”

In Case You Missed It

— During the national anthem, both teams lined up on the sideline with arms interlocked in a show of unity. However, the call by Rodgers during the week for fans to join them went largely unanswered. Bennett, who sat during the anthem on last Sunday, told reporters he could hear someone in the crowd yelling at him.

“Some motherf**ker yelling, ‘Put your hand on your heart.’ That’s all I heard,” Bennett said. “Someone just kept saying, ‘Put your hand on your heart! Put your hand on your heart!’ I’m like, my arms are locked, back the f**k up.”

— Play was suspended at the end of the first quarter due to serve weather in the area. The delay lasted 46 minutes.

— Green Bay was hammered by injuries, including losing starting running back Ty Montgomery early in the game. It was reported by the NFL Network that Montgomery sustained broken ribs and will be out an undetermined amount of time.

Other injuries:

Blake Martinez (concussion | returned)
Josh Jones (back — returned)
Jamaal Williams (knee)
Joe Thomas (ankle)

— Cornerback Damarious Randall was benched after allowing a touchdown late in the first half and was replaced by Josh Hawkins. Randall spent the first part of the second half with arms stretched out sitting on the bench. He later walked back to the locker room by himself and the team said he was not injured. Asked afterwards about Randall, coach Mike McCarthy said, “That’s an internal matter that we’ll keep internal.”

Inside the Numbers

75 — That’s the number of sacks Matthews has in his career — now the most in team history.

24 — That’s the total number of yards that Aaron Rodgers’ last seven touchdowns have traveled.

4 — That’s the number of offensive line combinations Green Bay has used through the first four games of the season.

3 — That’s how many pass deflections that Hawkins had in what was essentially two quarters of work.

What’s Next

Green Bay (3-1) will travel to take on the Dallas Cowboys (2-1) Oct. 8. at AT&T Stadium.