2017 NFL Week 6 Wrap: Does Rodgers injury open door for Redskins?

WASHINGTON — The sad, awful truth about the NFL in Week 6 is that the biggest development of the week had nothing to do with the thrilling play on the field.

Football season in Green Bay essentially ended Sunday when star Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers laid injured on the U.S. Bank Stadium turf in Minnesota. Rodgers then took a cart ride to the locker room with what the team announced is a broken collarbone, the second such injury of his career.

Of course, this time the prognosis for Rodgers isn’t as good. The 2013 injury was to his non-throwing shoulder; this time around his golden right arm is the one in peril, even if the Packers have fallen short of saying his season is over.

Even if by some miracle Rodgers returns to the field in 2017, it’ll likely be too late for Green Bay to make a run. Third-year backup QB Brett Hundley is playing behind an offensive line decimated by injuries (both starting tackles left the field hurt on Sunday and didn’t return) and ask any Packers fan how they feel about that defense under longtime coordinator Dom Capers. Their response won’t be for the faint of heart.

Conventional wisdom is that Green Bay’s Super Bowl hopes were on that cart along with Rodgers. So what does it mean for the conference?

The Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions will duke it out for that division, but the loser of that battle isn’t a lock to grab a Wild Card spot. There are currently eight two-loss teams in the NFC and three-loss teams like Dallas and Tampa Bay aren’t likely to go away.

My preseason Super Bowl pick, Seattle, is as flawed as any other team in the NFC. Their once vaunted defense looks human (ranked sixth in scoring but just 15th in yards per game) and that turnstile offensive line might get Russell Wilson killed if it’s not careful. Hell, they may not even win that division the way the L.A. Rams are playing.

Speaking of the Rams…they’re a great story, but do we really believe they can make a playoff run? A team with a rookie head coach and a second-year quarterback still figuring out how to play consistently well isn’t exactly a championship formula.

The Philadelphia Eagles are actually the odds-on favorite to come out of the NFC now, and that attention is deserved. Philly has the best record in the conference at 5-1 and so far has outscored its competition by an NFC-best 43 points. The Eagles have a head-to-head victory over Carolina (the next best team in the NFC) and can all but lock up the NFC East with a win over the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football.

But that’s the caveat: A primetime Washington win in Philadelphia gets the ‘Skins within a half game of first place and earns a split of the season series. It also throws the Redskins deep into this conversation of teams that could replace Green Bay in the playoff field.

Glancing at the Redskins’ remaining schedule reveals this would be far from a hot take. After the Eagles game, there isn’t a single matchup in which the ‘Skins aren’t equal to or better than their opponent. The toughest challenge is probably Seattle’s homefield advantage, but the Seahawks themselves don’t look like the world-beaters they were in 2014.

Though Philly also has a trip to Seattle on their remaining docket, they have what appears to be the easier schedule. So while the Redskins have a chance to make things interesting on Monday Night, the Eagles would either have to suffer an epic rash of key injuries or completely fall apart to blow this golden opportunity to advance to just their third Super Bowl berth.

Of course, last year Philadelphia started 4-2 and proceeded to lose seven of their next eight games. And the way the injury bug is biting the top players on the top teams this season…

…the only thing we know for sure is that the 2017 NFL season is going to keep throwing us curveballs. Why not one more in the form of a Redskins playoff berth?

But I’ll throw you this updated NFL Week 6 Recap right over the plate.

Rob Woodfork

Rob Woodfork is WTOP's Senior Sports Content Producer, which includes duties as producer and host of the DC Sports Huddle, nightside sports anchor and sports columnist on WTOP.com.

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