The Green Bay Packers aren’t the first franchise to lose a future Hall of Fame quarterback to injury. The San Francisco 49ers endured that ordeal in September 1986, when Joe Montana ruptured a disk in his back. The eventual four-time Super Bowl champion had surgery and returned to action later that season, but initially, the injury was considered career-threatening.
“That was a little rough,” CBS Sports college football analyst and three-time Super Bowl champion Randy Cross said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “That gave one pause. That meant Jeff Kemp was your quarterback. It’s a big deal.”
It’s also a big deal for the Packers, who could be without Rodgers (broken collarbone) for the rest of the season.
“I’m a top-of-the-scale guy,” Cross said, “so I don’t buy all this instant garbage: ‘Oh, everyone else has to just give a little bit more.’ No, I don’t think so. You’ve got to change your game plan. You’ve got to change your roles. You have to adjust as a staff because you can’t give more than 100 percent. Your line can’t suddenly say, ‘Oh, now I’m going to really try.’ Or your backs are going to start running hard? Or your receivers will now try to catch?”
It doesn’t work that way.
“Green Bay is in a tough spot,” Cross said. “(Brett) Hundley, with those three picks yesterday, didn’t buy himself any slack. And especially with the lawsuit being filed for collusion by Kaepernick and his people, I think it’s going to put an incredible amount of strain on the NFL as to who exactly the keys are handed to and why that decision is being made. Because now you’re going to have a chance for the media and everybody else to kind of micromanage the league’s business again.”
The Packers (4-2) host the Saints (3-2) this Sunday before a Week 8 bye. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. ET.