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Aaron Rodgers’ ‘13 screws’ in his shoulder could mean his season is over

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Well... almost over.

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Green Bay Packers placed Aaron Rodgers on injured reserve last week, but would not commit to saying his season was over. Despite suffering a broken collarbone that resulted in surgery on his throwing shoulder, many speculated he could recover in time to return from IR in the eight weeks required by the NFL.

That would mean he could return as early as the Packers’ Week 15 game against the Panthers, and well in time for the season finale against the Detroit Lions.

However, Rodgers made an appearance on Conan this week, and according to a teaser video released by the late night talk show host, Rodgers has 13 screws in that shoulder he’s rehabbing.

It’s not abundantly clear if Rodgers is exaggerating for comedic effect. He told ESPN on Thursday, “It's TV. Sometimes you exaggerate. And then sometimes, you tell the truth."

But if Rodgers was being truthful, that could be bad news for the Packers quarterback. Former NFL doctor David J. Chao explains:

“The total of 13 is definitely higher than the average and would mean a comminuted (many fragments) or a segmental (three main pieces) fracture with a longer plate inserted to cover the extended fracture area,” Chao wrote in the San Diego Union-Tribune on Thursday.

So what does that all mean? According to Chao a comminute fracture prolongs recovery time. When the initial news hit, Chao predicted that Rodgers would be ready by Week 15, but with the caveat of it being a comminute fracture, it would be an even longer recovery time.

Now, Chao isn’t sure Rodgers will play at all this year, saying he’d need “good fortune” to make a return this year, but here’s the scary part: Chao believes a Week 17 return against the Lions is still very much a possibility if the Packers are still in the running.

Rodgers has broken the hearts of Lions fans two years in a row at Ford Field, and there’s still a chance he could make it three in a row.