I truly thought the Thanksgiving butt-kicking at the hands of the Lions made his return anytime soon doubtful. And if he doesn't come back for Atlanta, and they lose, is there any sense in him pushing it all this season? Mortensen's reporting seems to indicate that doctors would like to see him sit out the rest of the season.
Let's be honest; the Packers aren't going to the Super Bowl this season. Even if they managed to somehow win the division, which itself is a very long shot, they'd probably make another early exit in the playoffs. The Packers defensive woes since Rodgers went down are nearly impossible to explain. But the reality is this team is still talented and when healthy will be contenders. There's no reason to risk a player of Rodgers caliber (or Randall Cobb, for that matter) on what is increasingly appearing to be a lost cause.
Mike McCarthy may not think injuries are an excuse. But they are a reality. Rodgers turns 30 on Monday. This is traditionally seen as the year of the QB "wall," when a quarterback sees his skills begin to decline. It isn't always that way and it may not be that way with Rodgers. But pressing him back into service too quickly after a serious injury certainly includes the risk of increasing the chances of Rodgers hitting that wall sooner rather than later.