GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Aaron Rodgers is done for the season.
With the Green Bay Packers out of the playoffs, they're not taking any more chances with the two-time NFL MVP's right collarbone. They placed him on injured reserve Tuesday.
Rodgers, who missed seven games after he broke his right clavicle on Oct. 15 at Minnesota, returned Sunday against the Panthers. But after the Packers lost at Carolina and the Falcons won on Monday night, Green Bay (7-7) was eliminated from playoff consideration with two games to play. It's the first time the Packers will miss the postseason since Rodgers' first year as a starter (2008).
Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Rodgers did not experience a setback with his collarbone against the Panthers and would not say if this move would have been made if his team was still in playoff contention.
"With all the factors involved, we felt this was clearly in Aaron Rodgers' best interest," McCarthy said. "He's not happy about it. It's a hard day for him. This is not the way, I don't think, any player wants to see their season come to a conclusion, being on IR. We all understand and appreciate and respect his competitive spirit, but we felt as an organization this was in his best interest."
Rodgers threw three touchdowns in his return against the Panthers but also was sacked three times and threw three interceptions -- the first time he has been picked off that many times in a game since 2009. McCarthy said Rodgers was sore after taking "a number of hits" against the Panthers.
Brett Hundley, who went 3-4 in place of Rodgers this season, will start Saturday night against the Vikings. Green Bay re-signed backup Joe Callahan, who was released last week when the Packers activated Rodgers off IR.
McCarthy said the Packers might not be done making roster moves. They have an open spot on the roster after they released fullback Joe Kerridge. They also released practice squad quarterback Jerod Evans.
Rodgers had surgery on Oct. 19 to have 13 screws and two plates implanted to stabilize his collarbone.
"I think clearly Aaron's effort and everything he put in to get back and play shows you the will and the character of the football team," McCarthy said. "He's the leader. ... He did a lot of really good things in the Carolina game. To play and come back and have the challenge, I mean, they're an excellent defense. But yes, I think it shows you his competitive spirit and his will to be a champion and you know, we fully went into Carolina with the expectations to win the game."