Aaron Rodgers' effect on 49ers

The San Francisco 49ers are legitimate Super Bowl contenders. So are the Green Bay Packers.

So the collarbone injury suffered by Green Bay superstar quarterback Aaron Rodgers could be crucial for the 49ers. Initial reports indicate Rodgers may miss three weeks.

The impact Rodgers has on the 49ers won’t happen until the playoffs. The 49ers are 6-2 and a game and a half behind 8-1 Seattle in the NFC West. Green Bay, which lost to Chicago on Monday night after Rodgers was injured early in the game, is in a three-way tie for first place in the NFC North at 5-3.

If the 49ers don’t have to play Green Bay in the postseason or if the Rodgers injury means the 49ers won’t have to go to Lambeau Field in January, that would be huge.

For now, though, the 49ers’ focus is on three big upcoming games against Carolina, New Orleans and Seattle in the next month. San Francisco has won five straight games and is rolling.

After beating Green Bay in a wild 34-28 Week 1 game, the 49ers are not thinking much about the Packers. Still, it has to creep into the 49ers' minds that a potential major playoff challenger has suffered a possible season-altering injury.