If the Green Bay Packers had their way, no one else but Aaron Rodgers would take a snap at quarterback during the regular season except in mop up duty during a blowout victory.
That said, they need some kind of a Plan B behind the 2011 NFL MVP in case of a doomsday scenario in which Rodgers is out for multiple games (or perhaps even the duration of the season). For the first few years Rodgers was the starter, they had a solid plan. Matt Flynn sat at the ready and Graham Harrell was on the practice squad learning the ropes. All was well.
Then came the 2011 regular season finale. The Packers were 14-1 and had home field advantage for the playoffs sewn up. There was no reason to risk an injury to Rodgers in a meaningless game, so Flynn got his second career NFL start. What followed was a record setting performance by Flynn who finished with 480 passing yards and six touchdowns.
Flynn was scheduled to be a free agent after the season and with that performance plus his 2010 game against the Patriots, Flynn seemed destined for a starting job and could have his pick of any team that wanted him.
Flynn joined the Seahawks and then Russell Wilson came along. The rest is history.
The Packers, meanwhile, went through 2012 with Harrell as Rodgers’ backup after he was promoted off the practice squad in Flynn’s absence. Harrell left much to be desired in the 2012 preseason and was likely headed towards being cut had he not performed well in the preseason finale. So Harrell it was in 2012.
During last season’s regular season game against the New Orleans Saints, Rodgers got poked in the eye and Harrell came in for one play. He tripped and fumbled the ball one yard from a touchdown.
Not exactly the kind of performance that inspires confidence.
Coming into 2013, Harrell was expected to face competition from 2012 practice squad quarterback B.J. Coleman. When neither showed much in the preseason, the Packers brought in former Titans star Vince Young to compete.
Now all three are no longer Packers.