Report: Thompson made final call on Rodgers


The phrase “organizational decision” was uttered more times than “jingle bells” in Green Bay on Friday, with Packers coach Mike McCarthy explaining the move to shut down quarterback Aaron Rodgers for a seventh straight start due to a broken collarbone by repeatedly uttering the two-word phrase.

Rob Demovsky of buries in his take on the matter a point that deserves far greater attention:  The person in the organization ultimately responsible for making the organizational decision is G.M. Ted Thompson.

Demovsky wonders whether, in the risk-reward analysis resulting in the decision to extend a supposed 4-6 week absence to at least seven weeks and six days, Thompson decided that, even with Rodgers playing, a Super Bowl run is unlikely, given the team’s pistol-porous defense.

Here’s another possibility.  Remember Thompson’s USA Today interview in which he talked about fear of jinxing Rodgers by having a better backup plan in place for him?  There’s a chance Thompson, who doesn’t believe in jinxes but nevertheless is wary of them, doesn’t want to tempt fate by rolling the dice with Rodgers.  Given the criticism Thompson absorbed for not having a solid No. 2 after the initial injury, Thompson would get even more of the same if he green lights Rodgers’ return and then Rodgers breaks the collarbone again.

And given the potency of jinxes that don’t exist, what if Rodgers would suffer some other serious injury that would have been avoided altogether if the team had continued to protect him from a re-injury to his collarbone?

Regardless of whether the final decision was made by Thompson or Dr. Pat McKenzie or someone else, it’s hard not to wonder whether the outcome would have been different if the Packers had a traditional owner.  In Green Bay, no one possesses the ultimate authority that the other 31 owners enjoy.  Elsewhere, it’s an “organizational decision” that can be made — and unmade — by one person.

With the Packers, public ownership means there’s no one person with the ability to say, “It’s my team, it’s my call.”  If there were, it’s hard to imagine the organizational decision being anything other than, “Aaron is willing to accept the risks, so he’s playing.”

61 responses to “Report: Thompson made final call on Rodgers

  1. Before the Favre would have played stuff, just remember if Favre played last week, there is no way he wins in Dallas. The closet Favre came to winning there was when Rodgers nearly bailed him out in 2007. Flynn for the wynn.

  2. The Packers are the team that all other teams seek to emulate, yet they all come up short.

    Of course, some teams come up shorter than others, especially the one that plays just west of Wisconsin.

  3. You mean the general manager is responsible for decisions, like that’s where the buck stops? Because that’s exactly correct. This is exactly the same process they went through with Woodson last year. He felt ready to play and the team decided against it based on medical info.

  4. Either way, I’d just like to NOT hear Peter King sing about it. Or to ever sing again. He should stick with talking about sports. Please. Writing for somebody else to sing is ok if he is compelled.

  5. If there is anyone who didn’t know it was TT who made the decision, they have no clue about GB. It was pretty obvious.
    As far as deciding a SB run is unlikely, why didn’t they IR him then? If they didn’t think they can still make the playoffs and move further, he would be out.
    Traditional owner or not, TT makes the decision, it’s in the title of the damn article! And no, if the organization cares about more than the now, now, now mentality, the decision CAN be other then “Aaron is willing to accept the risks, so he’s playing.” RGIII, Kobe ring a bell for you?


  7. It’s the job of the GM to look at the long term. Aaron Rodgers isn’t a one year investment. In the current NFL nothing is more important than a franchise quarterback. Keeping Aaron as healthy as possible means the Packers will have a shot at contention for the next 5-7 years.

  8. This decisions totally sums up Ted Thompson. Too cautious with free agency. Too cautious with Rodgers.

    I agree with most of his thoughts on building a team. But to ignore every part of free agency is ridiculous. And with as crazy as the playoffs can be, to sit Rodgers is inexcusable. Especially when it appears both AR & McCarthy feel he’s ready to go.

  9. Don’t put it all on Thompson. He has said before he consults with Murphy on all major decisions, especially the ones concerning the $100 million dollar QB.

  10. Charles Woodson out six weeks with broken collarbone (Oct. 22, 2012)

    Charles Woodson cleared to play for Green Bay Packers (Jan 1, 2013)

    “Woodson deferred to team physician Dr. Pat McKenzie and gave his broken collarbone as much time to heal as possible, sitting out Sunday’s regular-season finale at Minnesota. He was injured on Oct. 21 and has missed nine consecutive games.”

    That is 10 weeks, ladies and gents. Not 6.

  11. Sounds like there is a schism in Packerland. Nfl should make this team to a individual Party. Just like all the other 31.

  12. In Ted they used to trust…. 😉

    Six weeks ago, AR and most all the Packer fans were talking that the QB would be back in action in three to four weeks.

    Fast forward four weeks and the story changes and the fans start blaming the doctor.

    Now they blame TT.

    What next?

  13. TT just wants the Packers to lose, so the endless questions on whether to play Aaron or not will just stop. If he wanted to win this season Aaron would have been playing. I guess he feels this D is too weak to go much distance anyway, so lose and be done with it. I don’t agree.

  14. I think it’s tremendous the way all the top teams in the NFC North are valiantly battling into the final weeks of the season for a coveted playoff berth. The Lions, Bears and Packers are a credit to the Black and Blue division, and to the entire NFL community.

    And then there are the hapless and tasteless Vikings – last place again.

  15. I am getting really sick of hearing about not having an owner, it is such a joke. Mark Murphy is voted by the owners to be the “Owner” as President and CEO he goes to the owner’s meetings and he has the power to fire Ted Thompson or whoever he wants.

    He is basically an acting owner, so this narrative that the Packers are at a disadvantage without a traditional owner is bogus. Green Bay is in the best position because their “owner” cannot drag his team down as he goes senile like Al Davis or Jerry Jones. They are held accountable and the team is not stuck waiting for their owner to die before seeing positive change.

  16. Listening to sports talk radio yesterday (local GB station), the 4-6 weeks stated from the beginning came from a national sportscaster NOT anyone associated with the medical field. You cannot tell me that MM, TT, and AR don’t want him in the game asap. An orthopedist had predicted 8-10 weeks at minimum. Do you really want him hit, hurt worse, so surgery is needed? Come on, folks, he will play when all parties say its time. In the meantime, Matt F is the QB. Stop this nonsense.

  17. I believe that Flynn is good enough to beat the Steelers and Bears. I think a fully, or closer to fully, healed Rodgers will then take over for the playoff games. The “organization” may have a similar belief.

  18. The reason why you don’t let Rodgers come back this week is because GB believes that they can beat the steelers with Flynn. He has been playing better and better and why risk having Rodgers get hurt if you feel that Flynn can beat the Steelers?

    If Rodgers would play, breaks his collar bone and GB beats the steelers and bears with Flynn than what? GB isn’t going to the SB with Flynn.

  19. Poor, little Erin’s shoulder is sore. Don’t blame him…it’s not his fault he was born with a very, very low pain tolerance. Some guys play through pain, and some guys stand on the sidelines with wool hats, and hand warmers in their gloves.

  20. I have been saying this for the last few weeks. Ted Thompson has thrown in the towel for this season and has decided to sit Rodgers for the rest of the season. Go take a long walk off a short pier Ted! It has NOTHING to do with Rodgers getting medically cleared. If the team Doc was allowed to be questioned he would tell us Rodgers is ready to play. What kind of ploy is this be TT? He wants to cover his rear end by making Flynn prove himself as a good backup AND save Rodgers too? I’m disgusted with this decision. Play the game, don’t play games with the entire NFL. I hope this blows wide open on TT!!!!

  21. There’s a sense of coming together with the team. And I think TT is waiting to see the D play a consistently good game. They sure got it done in the 2nd half against Dallas.

    But in the playoffs, there’s little room for a “bad half”.

    If Packers win with a good showing by the defense, Rodgers will be back to take out the Bears and get some payback.

    If the Packers win in a shootout (and look for mother nature having something to say about that) with the D being a sieve, Flynn will play against the Bears.

    People need to remember the NFL is a game of chess. They might have known Rodgers was done for year soon as he has the first scan. But you keep the other teams guessing and the fans interested with “possibilities”.

  22. Although I love the Packers, I have to admit that TT looks totally like a ghoul. He gives me the creeps looking at him. People in the organization must feel like he is looking right through them.

  23. Living in GB, gives you a better perspective on the cult football team here. Fact: domestic violence arrests skyrocket when they lose. Fact: the organization is every bit as greedy as the owners of other teams:selling worthless “stock”, pieces of sod to fans. They have perfected the “small town community owned” nonsense. This is big business, and they are as cutthroat as any.

  24. I’m fine with the Pack tanking the season. In fact, I called it immediately after the game with the Bears in which Rodgers was injured. First, our back-up QB situation was pathetic. I totally blame Thompson for have two clueless back-ups to start the season. Second, the Packers are not going to go far in the playoffs with a defense as poor as this one. So put Rodgers on IR and let him heal. Start tweaking the defense. Come back next year and kick NFL ass.

  25. Packers should send a Christmas present to Mike Shanahan. Last year he provided a textbook example of how not to handle an injured QB and the Packers learned from it.

  26. If I’m Packer Fan (and I’m not but I like all my Packer Fan buddies) — I like this call.

    Rodgers is the best player in the NFL – and the CORE of the Packers franchise. The Packers need to look at the BIG picture, look long-term.

    Some times, it takes someone with some stones (and the juice TT has) to make the tough calls. Shanahan wilted to public and player pressure – not to mention succombing to short term gain with RGIII, and it had the predictable effect.

    Packer Nation needs to get Rodgers right – and right for a long, long, lonnnnng time. Keep Rodgers upright, and you’ll be racking up Lombardis – like you did in XLV against my Steelers.

  27. Hey you roll with the winners or go home. Ted is taking his team home. Season over. Hopefully Rogers will be rested by training camp and ready to get pummeled for another season.

    Look, I would not put a 23 mil a QB behind this O line anymore than Ted will. They are the worst in football and Rog would get killed.

  28. Rodgers is the best player in the NFL – and the CORE of the Packers franchise. The Packers need to look at the BIG picture, look long-term.

    when did he have 2097 yards rushing like all day? and hes not even close to manning this year in yards or tds

  29. If it was TT’s call then hat’s off to him. Rodgers is 30 years old and the team has $54 million guaranteed invested in him. Why would they rush him back and risk re-injury? The long view is that a healthy Rodgers = Super Bowl contention for the next 7-8 years in Green Bay.

  30. Smart move Ted!!! Why risk having Rodgers in there and taking another hit and be lost for the 2014 season. Let Rodgers heal and come back next year. If they make the playoffs, the Pack is one and done.

  31. It would probably be a good idea to start Rodgers in Week 17 if the Pack is still in a position to win the NFC North. NFL QB is not a plug-and-play position; with as long as he’s been out, he’ll need time to get back in a rhythm with his receivers. A wild-card playoff game would not be a good time for that.

  32. The best QB in the league is Rodgers. The best all-around offensive threat is Percy Harvin. And neither does their team one ounce of good if they aren’t on the field.

  33. GB is a smart organization. If a Radiologist and an Orthopedic Physician can’t review Rodgers most recent CT Scans compared to his previous and give him a 100% full go, I wouldn’t start him. GB has the long term view of the situation for the Packers and Aaron Rodgers. Unfortunately, other NFL teams would have taken the short sighted approach of thinking only of the playoff implications on the line this season or this week for that matter and would have started their QB at the risk of re-injury. In fact if Rodgers collarbone is not fully healed he is in fact “injured” and should not play. Big difference between “hurt” shoulder for example that is severely bruised and in pain compared to this situation.

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