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Aaron Rodgers Heading Back To IR After Packers Fall Out Of Playoff Race

Aaron Rodgers throwing a pass.

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 17: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers throws a pass against the Carolina Panthers in the fourth quarter during their game at Bank of America Stadium on December 17, 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Aaron Rodgers returned on Sunday, in an attempt to win out and lead the Packers to an unexpected playoff berth. After the loss to the Panthers, he's being shut down.

Aaron Rodgers had a pretty mixed performance in his return from injury, throwing for 290 yards and three touchdowns, but also three interceptions, and struggling with the deep ball which has long been a staple of his game.

The Green Bay Packers likely needed to win out to have a chance at a backdoor playoff berth, but with the 31-24 road loss, those hopes are dashed. And with the Packers out of the hunt, Rodgers is heading back to the injured reserve.

The Packers announced that move this afternoon.

Rodgers had an extremely quick recovery from a Week 6 broken collarbone, which required surgery. He suffered the injury on a questionable hit from Minnesota Vikings Anthony Barr, forcing back-up Brett Hundley into the first extended action of his NFL career. Green Bay was 3-5 with Hundley at the helm, after starting 4-1 before that fateful Vikings game.

Pulling Aaron Rodgers for the rest of the season is probably the right move. There is no real reason to risk further injury to the former MVP without the playoffs on the line, Hundley can continue to develop and with some good performances, potentially gain some value on the market, and the Packers may wind up with a better NFL Draft pick.

Green Bay finished with two more tough games this season: vs. the Vikings, and at Detroit, both potential playoff teams themselves. The Packers lost their first match-ups with both teams this season.