Aaron Rodgers has officially been ruled OUT by the Green Bay Packers for Sunday night's game against the Patriots in New England. Matt Flynn will start -- the first start of his three-year NFL career.
Rodgers, who suffered his second concussion of the season last week in Detroit, did not practice at all this week and was not cleared by Green Bay's medical staff -- the decision was in their hands.
Graham Harrell, an undrafted rookie out of Texas Tech, has been activated from the practice squad and will back-up Flynn. Rodgers will also make the trip and help on the sidelines where he can.
While it's certainly the right move to sit Rodgers if he still has lingering effects from his concussion, it does hurt the matchup of the Packers offense versus the Patriots defense, something that has both reporters and fans disappointed (via Pats Pulpit):
... the football fan in me really wanted to see a Rodgers-Brady duel on Sunday Night Football. Without Rodgers and without a reliable running game (24th in the league), the Patriots defense, which has allowed just 10 points over the last 9+ quarters, should have an easier time.
While Matt Flynn is probably an above average backup quarterback, he will not be able to do some of the things that Rodgers can do, in terms of mobility, and making something out of nothing. While Flynn was a decent game manager against the Lions last week (throwing just one interception and completing 57% of his passes, although scoring just three points), the Packers offense will be a lot more conservative. This certainly should work in the Patriots favor.