Newton, Panthers spoil Rodgers' return

Aaron Rodgers' up-and-down return not enough to save Packers

Aaron Rodgers' up-and-down return not enough to save Packers

AARON RODGERS threw three interceptions on his return from a broken collarbone as Green Bay's playoff hopes all but ended. And he made several big plays after Adams departed.

The Panthers were saved from one of Rodgers' patented comebacks, however, when James Bradberry forced a fumble on receiver Geronimo Allison and Mike Adams recovered to secure the win.

Rodgers also ran for 43 yards, but he didn't have the same accuracy and arm strength to which we've grown accustomed to seeing. He outplayed Rodgers, who was picked off three times and sacked three times in his first game back from injury. Green Bay led 14-10 at halftime after a 33 yard touchdown from Rodgers to Randall Cobb, but Carolina regained the lead for good on a 30 yard touchdown pass from Cam Newton to tight end Greg Olson on the opening drive of the second half. He completed 27 of 45 passes for 287 yards, but the Packers (7-7) saw the their postgame aspirations crippled. When we got the opportunity to run I think we ran it well. But he had been practicing for almost two full weeks, running the Packers' scout-team offense, on the first day he was eligible to practice allowed by the league's IR rules.

Olsen was seen screaming at the Carolina sideline before the review, urging Rivera not to challenge the play because he was certain Byrd was out of bounds. "He's saying, 'No, he did not catch it!"

"We have a lot of very high-character guys in this locker room", Olsen said. This is Adams' third concussion in the last two seasons.

Rodgers also lost his No. 1 receiver in Adams, who caught his 10th touchdown pass of the season - five from Rodgers and five from Hundley - before he was thanks to an illegal hit by Panthers linebacker.

Rodgers called it an "unnecessary hit" and called Davis a "repeat offender".

Davis immediately realized what he had done, cupping his head in hands as he sat on the Panthers bench. Davis was not available for comment after the game. Daryl Worley was in coverage on the play, and he happily snagged his second interception in as many weeks. Again it came on an underthrown ball, as Rodgers rolled to his right and couldn't get enough air under the ball to Jordy Nelson.

The Packers recovered the onside kick to set Rodgers up with the chance to tie the game and send it to overtime. How about a one-year subscription to the ultimate sports streaming service in Canada, with access to every NFL game, as well as soccer, tennis, hockey and now, Canada's men's and women's national FIBA team.

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